The Retelling of Pinocchio is a Major Disappointment

Disney releases another live-action remake of a Disney classic


Creative Commons

Geppetto (Tom Hanks) stares intently at Pinocchio in Disney’s live-action film.

Abbiegail Luker, Reporter

Disney has made it a habit in recent years to make live-action remakes of Disney classics, currently having remade movies such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” and now “Pinocchio.” I know that a lot of people enjoy those remakes, but I could never get into them. For a lot of them, I think the music was a major turn-off. I love the originals as they are, I don’t need another version, but the Pinocchio trailer caught my interest. Maybe it was because I didn’t have as big expectations for it, I don’t know. Here is my honest review of Pinocchio.

I’m going to be honest, it was hard to get through the first half of this movie. The dialogue was clunky, the way the story was progressing felt unnatural, and some of the characters were a bit strange to look at. I think they meant for Geppetto (Tom Hanks) to be very repetitive, but about 15 minutes in I was tired of hearing him speak. Cleo the goldfish and Figaro the cat both have human eyes, and while it worked in the animation, it’s a bit unsettling in live action. The conversation between the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio, and Jiminy Cricket was especially fast. Where there should have been a pause, the response had started. Also, the Blue Fairy started randomly singing “Once Upon A Star,” there was music in the background but it kind of just popped up right as she started singing. It felt like there had been no lead-up and it was a bit awkward. 

I noticed about an hour in that his nose hadn’t been mentioned once, and right as I thought that, Pinocchio lied and his nose grew. He lied a couple of times, apologized, his nose shrunk and it never happened again and was only mentioned again once. I found this incredibly baffling, considering this is one of the most prominent traits of Pinocchio; it’s the trademark of the tale. It’s not like Pinocchio immediately grew from that moment and would have never lied again, that’s ridiculous. 

I will say that the movie was much better in the second half; the pacing was still a bit wonky but for the most part okay. My favorite part of the movie is definitely Pleasure Island. The song that the coachman (Luke Evans) sings was fun to watch, and he was definitely a bit creepy. The actual area of Pleasure Island looked exactly the way I thought it’d be. A large, unsafe, bright amusement park for mischievous children. My main memory of Pinocchio as a child was Pleasure Island, so this was a pleasant surprise. I was actually scared when Pinocchio’s “friend” turned into a donkey, just like when I was little. They also decided to make Pinocchio’s ears and tail out of wood as well, which was a nice detail. 

Monstro is now a sea monster instead of a whale? Looks like a whale but they specifically say that he isn’t a whale, he’s a sea monster. No further explanation. My favorite moment in the movie was in Monstros’ mouth, but they spent an incredibly short amount of time there. I’m talking single-digit minutes. Monstro is supposed to be this scary, terrible thing that they’re stuck inside of but they get out in mere moments? I think they might have run out of time or something because that was an incredibly strange choice on their part. 

The ending is okay, they just walk off into the distance, and we don’t technically get to know what happens to Pinocchio. We don’t get to see him turn into a real boy, we’re just told the way he acts basically made him a real boy (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of his journey). 

Was it a terrible movie? No, not really. Would I watch it over the original? Also no, probably not. I got one audible laugh towards the end of the movie, I enjoyed one song, and that was about it. I didn’t feel much emotional strain, which is strange considering I’m a fairly emotional person. I’m a bit disappointed, and I don’t think I’ll be watching it again anytime soon.