Pinocchio, the live action with Tom Hanks on Disney +: the review

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Pinocchiothe live-action signed Robert Zemeckis and interpreted, among others, by Tom Hanks, Luke EvansJoseph Gordon-Levitt, Cynthia Erivo and the Italian actor Joseph Battistonland on Disney + on 8 September, on the occasion of Disney + Day. Which, for the uninitiated, is an annual celebration established in 2021 to celebrate the Disney universe by hosting on the streaming special experiences for fans and subscribers as well as new content from his own brand main.

Pinocchioproduced and written by the Academy Award winner Zemeckis with Chris Weitz (former writer of Cinderella And Rogue One), is well the twentieth (badly counted) film adaptation of the famous novel written by Collodi in 1883. And he will not be the only one to see the light this year, since the version in stop-motion made by Guillermo del Toro for Netflix.

Pinocchio – poster


For those very few who still do not know its history, Pinocchio is a wooden puppet (with the voice of Benjamin Evan Ainsworth in the original version). Created by the lonely and slightly odd Geppetto (Tom Hanks) in memory of the little son, presumably who died together with his mother in unclear circumstances (just to insert a little backstoryas is customary in the last live action Disney).

In a night that is already a bit magical in itself, thanks to a wish expressed when the brightest star appears, the puppet comes to life. Much to the surprise of its creator the next day. That, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, he immediately decides to send him to school to learn the necessary, never let him turn into an ungrammatical puppet.

If you ever have any doubts, having less than twelve hours to live, about what is good or what is bad, what is the problem? We have the brave here Jiminy Cricketalso said Jiminy Cricket (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), promoted on the field “provisional consciousness” of Pinocchio by Fairy (Cynthia Erivo). That while he was there he remade his wardrobe and even made a cantata (if not what Disney movie would it be?): The iconic “When you wish upon a star “ – in the Italian version interpreted by Frances Alinasemifinalist of the fourth edition of The Voice of Italy and voice of the Social Band of Radio2 Social Club.

Badly kicked out of school, obviously lacking a vocation for inclusion, at least when it comes to “wooden heads”, Pinocchio finds himself involved, in spite of himself, in a series of adventures, among the puppeteer’s bandwagon Strombolialso said Fire Eaters (Giuseppe Battiston), pitfalls of the Cat and the Fox (Keegan-Michael Key), travel to Pleasure Land /the Land of Toys transported by the Postiglione (Luke Evans), and so on.

Until you get to the epilogue, understand a fair amount of lessons and turn – or not – into a real child.

Pinocchio – official trailer

True to the 1940s animated version, with some topical touches and a nineties load of Disney DOC magic

The question may arise spontaneously in many of us: did we really feel the need for another version of Pinocchio? Plus, if you see it in the original version (like we did in preview), you’ll have to pretend that the origin of its name from “out of pine ” (literally “out of, came from the pine”). And of not having heard anyone sing Tom Hanksthat ok that everything is forgiven, but here we touch the point of no return.


But since the opening theme, in which a CGI cricket descends like a novel Mary Poppins on the dark and wet streets of the Tuscan-like village, a wave of Disney DOC magic spreads from the screens in our homes. Enveloping us in a sea of ​​memories. Of pleasant sensations. Of déja-vu that take us straight to the animated version from Pinocchio. That of 1940. Quoted almost literally, from the features of the puppet to those of the Figaro cat and the little fish with enormous eyes. And by Geppetto himself, who looks more like the cartoon character than a Tom Hanks.

Tom Hanks
(LR): Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) and Tom Hanks / Geppetto, Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

But the magic is not only evoked by the visual fidelity to the classic Disney: also by all the winks to the entire universe created by the good Walt. From the aforementioned initial descent of the Grillo hanging from an umbrella, to the various cuckoo clocks attached to the wall. Who reveal, when they play, who Maleficentwho Roger Rabbit intent on kissing voluptuously Jessicawho Donald Duck… And many others, will have fun recognizing them all lovers of easter egg.

Without forgetting the origins of the whole, evoked with nonchalance in the writing on the box above which Grillo stands, “Collodi soap“. And the chills that come when hearing the legendary “When you wish upon a star “. Which immediately catapulted you to Disneyland. We are a child again regardless of age. And you feel like rocking yourself, humming the melody. To eat a snack or hot chocolate. To let yourself be carried away by the enchantment. Et voila, to think that once again Disney has hit the mark. And that to celebrate Disney + Day in the end, yes, another, umpteenth adaptation of Pinocchio was more than adequate after all.

Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy
The Blue Fairy (Cynthia Erivo) with Pinocchio Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Then, in reality, there are also a number of discrepancies, not only from the Collodian version – that this was expected. But also from that of the 40s. And there are also many references to our days. For example, the Fox suggests to Pinocchio not to study and go to school but to become a influencer. And give yourself a stage name, pulling in the middle as well Chris Pineit must be his karma current of being pulled in the middle. In the “Land of Pleasure” (objectively, the more appropriate name of the generic “Land of Toys”) there is a riot of messages that refer to temptations of the moment. From the excesses of sugars to the corner of hatersdrinking alcohol, playing, playing, playing, not giving oneself limits, and so on and so forth.

In addition, a puppeteer and a puppet / dancer who was not there, Sofia, a talking seagull. And two or three other things, here and there.

It catches the eye, compared to the already benevolent previous version, that Pinocchio he is less guilty than ever. No longer even spiteful or disobedient, just bewildered and easy to get lost on the street due to the malevolence of others. In perfect line with the de-responsibility trend that is raging, on all fronts.

Disney +
Pinocchio Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Final balance sheet of Pinocchio

Definitely suitable for a nice family evening, and not bad for those with Disney & co grew up there. Awesome? Not particularly, but a really beautiful and rich tribute – both visually and in references – to the great classic of the 40s. And, more generally, to that warm, home atmosphere. Of childhood and smiles. Of magical and special. Which, in the end, is the enchantment branded (and packaged) Disney, in all its splendor.

Pinocchio, the live action with Tom Hanks on Disney +: the review