This year “Pinocchio” attracts a lot of attention of cinematographers. Just a couple of months after Disney+ released a remake of the live action movie starring Tom Hanks as the woodcarver Geppetto, the famous director Guillermo del Toro joined forces with Mark Gustafson to present his frame-by-frame animated film, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival on October 15. Reviews of Pinocchio live were far from stellar, but now critics have had the opportunity to weigh in and add to what we know about del Toro’s Pinocchio before its release to viewers who have a Netflix subscription.
Newcomer Gregory Mann voices the titular doll that comes to life, and he is surrounded by several strong actors from the cast of Pinocchio, with Ewan McGregor voicing the role of the wise cricket, and David Bradley (the Harry Potter franchise and Game of Thrones) as Geppetto. They are joined by others, including Cate Blanchett, Finn Wolfhard, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton and others. The trailer for “Pinocchio” showed great frame-by-frame animation, so let’s see what critics think about the finished product.
Aemikun Adekayero from Insider says that the musical numbers are disappointing, and the themes of war and death may be too dark for younger children. However, the directors managed to turn the classic story into an updated cautionary tale for parents, stating:
An original fairy tale can be a warning for children against disobedience. Del Toro appeals to parents, warning them to show their children that they love them despite their flaws, and hoping, as Jiminy says in the film, that they are trying their best.
Leslie Felperin of THR calls the film “completely imperfect”, noting that this remake brings back some dark elements of the source material that were polished in the 1940 Disney animated film. Guillermo del Toro’s hand is felt in every frame of this film, the critic notes:
From supernatural creatures with supernatural eyes scattered across their bodies — like one of the most famous monsters in the Maze of the Faun with Eyes in his hands — to carnival decorations reminiscent of his last role, Nightmare Alley, and water realms repeating the Shape of Water. and other back catalogue attempts, the film sometimes sounds like an album of del Toro’s greatest hits. Passionate fans of the author, whose number is legion, are likely to faint from self-citation; more critical, less condescending viewers may find this self-appeal a distracting sign of grandiosity or even just laziness.