Set against the rise of Mussolini, this adaptation of the Collodi story draws parallels with the adventures of the eponymous puppet and the fascist's coming to power in Italy. The stop-motion animation is vibrant and simply gorgeous as the old carpenter "Geppetto" lives happily with his young son "Carlo" until the war intervenes and he is robbed of his very essence. It is whilst in the depths of his despair that he decides to carve a puppet, and imbued with life by a forest sprite - "Pinocchio" is born. Curious, mischievous, rebellious - you just know that the youngster is going to be an handful for his father and his friend the cricket. His skills at dancing draw the attention of circus master "Volpe" and soon the lad is caught in an intricate trap that causes him and his "papa" no end of trauma. This iteration blends the magical and mystical with the political and brutal in a cleverly constructed fashion. The original story of humanity is front and centre, but the failings of, and challenges to, that humanity are also presented to us as we see the best and worst of human nature displayed. It's a love story, and one of the best, and in the hands of a man who knows how to mix the dark and the light - contextually and visually - so well, we are offered an engaging and thought-provoking version of this far darker and interesting fairy tale. A big screen must, if you can - the artistry is intricate and the Desplat score compliments that well, too.
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.msbreviews.com/movie-reviews/guillermo-del-toro-pinocchio-spoiler-free-review "Pinocchio retells the famous tale of the wooden puppet through visually lovely stop-motion animation, featuring several bold narrative changes that make this remake more human, emotional, and thematically profound than so many other adaptations. Unforgettable dialogues about loss, love, and being the best version of ourselves elevate an adventure of self-discovery. The voice cast couldn't have been better, while the (new) music manages to be both playful and lyrically rich. Guillermo del Toro simply cannot fail." Rating: B+
Guillermo del Toro has crafted a darker yet equally emotional version of _Pinocchio_. It is exquisitely and intricately animated with rich textures, gorgeous lighting, and mostly welcome character reinventions. The transition to Fascist Italy fits del Toro’s vision well, but the changes remove and alter enjoyable story elements that are surely missed. _Pinocchio_ is absolutely a contender for this year’s best-animated film, but it is a film that I hoped to adore and yet only deeply appreciate. **Full review:** https://boundingintocomics.com/2022/12/12/guillermo-del-toros-pinocchio-review-familiar-fantasy-branches-into-wondrous-stop-motion-and-the-horrors-of-war/
Per Gunnar Jonsson
I didn’t even know that Guillermo del Toro had made an adaptation of Pinocchio until my daughter and oldest son told me they wanted to watch it during our traditional movie evening yesterday. Wow, that was a different take on Pinocchio indeed. Pinocchio, the original, is not surprisingly, one of the movies I watched as a kid and which is quite dear to me. A movie from the time when the name Disney actually meant something and when they made actual family movies instead of woke crud for the small but loud-mouthed and fanatical minority. Needless to say I have not even contemplated to watch Disney’s latest remake of the original. But then, Guillermo del Toro movies I often like and, well, the kids (who are also very anti-woke) wanted to watch it so I did not have much choice but to watch it. I do indeed have some reservations about the theme used in the movie but overall it was a good movie. The movie is more geared towards adults or at least young adults than Disney’s original. It is much more dark and less humorous. But then, with Guillermo del Toro at the helm that is not really a surprise is it? Since I did not know anything about this movie until I started to watch it I sat through the entire movie wondering if it was done with stop-motion figures or CGI made to look like stop-motion. It turnes out that it is indeed stop-motion and damned impressive stop-motion at that. Really well done. The story, which has little to do with the original Disney one to be honest, is not bad but here we come to my main gripe with the movie. I did not really like the setting in fascist Italy with a lot of the movie preaching about fascism. It is really beating a dead horse and it made the movie darker than it had to be. I know Pinocchio is an Italian story so they could not really have set it in communist Russia, even though that would have been much more relevant if they really wanted to have some background bad guys. Still, I just wished they would have found some other theme. The ending is also nothing like the original Disney movie. It is not entirely a tragic ending but it is certainly not an overly happy one either. It is a good ending but, again, more an adult ending than a children’s story ending. Overall though, I liked the movie. It was a good movie and an intelligent and technically very well done adaptation of the Pinocchio story.
It's good, even if I wouldn't say it's anything better or worse than its Disney animated counterpart - at least it is a marked improvement on that aforementioned company's remake, mind. The big win of <em>'Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio'</em> is the stop-motion animation, which is extremely nice indeed. As for everything else? Nothing leaps out of my mind if I'm honest, even within 30mins of watching it. I personally found the design of the titular character to be 'just' OK, same goes for Sebastian J. Cricket & Co. I did like the casting of Ewan McGregor and David Bradley, particularly the latter. Christoph Waltz, meanwhile, is alright in his role. The more serious vibe of the film is a positive, though I don't think it comes across as deep as it intended (e.g. that last line from Cricket isn't, in my opinion, as effective as the film seems to think it is). As for the music: fine but forgettable, for me. Again, it's passable. I just unfortunately didn't overly care as much as I wanted to for this story and its characters. The 1940 film did it slightly better, fwiw.
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