Disney bragged about how it was releasing its live action Pinocchio as part of Disney Plus Day. When I heard that, I immediately wondered what the real reason for that was. If the movie were actually good, it would be very unlike a movie studio to purposefully cut it out of theaters, but maybe it would somehow help Disney more to have it promote its streaming service?
I watched it with the fam over the weekend, and I discovered the answer was much simpler. It’s just a terrible movie.
From start to finish, almost nothing of the movie works well. For one thing, it’s generally a carbon copy of the animated original, except it’s a mix of live action and CGI. This removes pretty much any sort of interest the movie might be able to generate on its own. Almost the whole time, I was wondering why in the world I’d want to watch this version when I could just watch the original. True, there are a few additions to the plot (a marionette Pinocchio interacts with being the biggest), but nothing there that makes it appreciably different.
Ironically, the film decided to diverge from the songs of the original, only leaving a few brief shout outs to the old songs here and there. Instead, having Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard pen some new songs. Now, I’m a big Alan Silvestri fan. Forrest Gump? Back to the Future? Iconic soundtracks. But imagine if you really like grilled cheese sandwiches, and someone shows up and says they’ll give you a grilled cheese sandwich, and instead give you a BLT. I’m not saying the songs were BLT quality, but it was really hard for me to assess them, because they definitely weren’t the originals, and the difference was very lacking. It also didn’t help that a few of them were “sung” by Tom Hanks, proving really only that Tom Hanks is great at many many different things, but singing ain’t one of ’em.
This is a movie that never should have been green lit. A blatant money grab, and a blight on some otherwise great filmmakers’ careers. Was there anything good in it? Well, clearly the CGI had a lot of work put into it. I really liked the portrayal of Honest John, and the Pleasure Island sequence was very good. But they were all too far and few between to salvage much of anything.
3/10. Avoid this movie.
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