‘Pinocchio’ Review: While not as grand as the original this remake has enough muster and heart to stand on its own two wooden legs

Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the puppet (Image via Disney)
Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the puppet (Image via Disney)

Disney+ has just released its latest and long-awaited project, Pinocchio. It narrates the tale of a young puppet partially brought to life. On the condition of being brave, truthful, and unselfish, he is promised an opportunity to be fully transformed into a real boy.


The film is directed by Oscar-winning legend Robert Zemeckis, whose direction scales an astounding new height in his career.

Many Disney remakes often adopt a more serious tone in their direction. This is one remake that doesn't need to take itself too seriously and is still fun enough for the entire family.

Disclaimer: This article reflects the views of the author.

'Pinocchio' is an entertaining romp for Disney

Marvelous Visuals

A still from the remake (Image via Disney)
A still from the remake (Image via Disney)

The look of Pinocchio itself is a visual extravaganza. Every scene has the charm and sparkle one would expect from a Disney remake. It sets the standard for visual effects in Hollywood with its extensive and magical recreation of an Italian village.

The animals look terrifying in the most realistic way possible, with every fur and wrinkle beautifully sculpted and tightly defined. Zemeckis has used many visual effects in his previous films, and Pinocchio is no exception.

Geppetto's Motivations

Hanks as Geppetto (Image via Disney)
Hanks as Geppetto (Image via Disney)

In the original Pinocchio film, Geppetto is seen making a puppet that he names Pinocchio. His motivation for creating the toy wasn't exactly clear. In the remake, however, it is implied that he had a son who he lost for some unknown reason. He channeled all his energy into creating the puppet to cope with the loss.

The original, although a classic, leaves this detail out. Hanks' portrayal brings a more emotional and understandable reason for the doll's creation. This is illustrated as he sang the opening song When He Was Here With Me.

Pinnochio is Better-Natured

The puppet is trapped in a cage (Image via Disney)
The puppet is trapped in a cage (Image via Disney)

In this rendition of the classic story, Pinocchio has a more curious and sensitive nature. He is just as susceptible as the original, but the Disney remake displays a change in the wooden boy.

During the sequence when Pinocchio and Lampwick are on Pleasure Island, the latter is seen enjoying himself, drinking beer, and breaking clocks. Pinocchio, however, is not partaking in the debauchery as he claims the clocks remind him of his father's clocks.

In the 1940 film, the puppet is more susceptible to angsty behavior. He also joins Lampwick in smoking, drinking, and causing collateral damage, which rendered the original heavily influenced by others. The remake gives the titular character a gentler spirit as he begins deciphering right from wrong.

Keegan-Michael Key

Honest John the Fox, played by Key (Image via Disney)
Honest John the Fox, played by Key (Image via Disney)

A cast highlight that remains in our heads rent-free is Keegan-Michael Key as Honest John the Fox. What seemed like odd casting has created the most extraordinary character of 2022.

John the fox and his mute companion Gideon the Cat gaslight the puppet into believing he doesn't need to go to school. As a result, they trick him into becoming an actor, selling him to Stromboli. Key's over-the-top performance gives the film a spark as he parades around singing about the actor's life. His theatrics are never muted (like the cat), and even behind that CG fox mask, one can't help but feel like it's Key performing Shakespeare in the park with as much hilarity as possible.

The Chris Pine joke was a hit or miss, but this fox has the charisma that makes viewers want to see him religiously. Key's rendition is certainly superior to that of the 1940 hand-drawn version.

Poll : Was Disney's Pinocchio remake great?



31 votes

Quick Links

Edited by Sayati Das