On this Thursday, September 8, it’s party time at Disney. Disney+ Day is currently in full swing, a day filled with announcements and new content from the big-eared firm. Among the new features arriving on SVOD today, we find Pinocchio, a re-reading of the adventures of the famous wooden puppet in live action. We had the chance to discover the live-action in preview. Discover now our review, guarantee without spoilers and without jargon (it was easy, sorry).
Visually, Disney is firing on all cylinders
For starters, we can say that Disney hasn’t gotten too wet with its live-action Pinocchio. Mickey’s firm did not want to move away from its 1940 classic and therefore remained very faithful to it. Our dear wooden puppet still has the same face, truer than true. All the same, we find it much more alive than in the animated film with visual effects to match. You could almost feel the texture of the pine wood the boy is made of.
Tom Hanks gives life to this good old Geppetto and we can say that the character of the Italian carpenter sticks to his skin. The actor manages to bring some depth to Pinocchio’s dad, which is very nice. In short, all the characters who appear in Pinocchio are (almost) identical to the classic released over 80 years ago. Even Figaro and Cléo look like two drops of water to their animated version. Something to delight fans of the original animated film. Only the Blue Fairy got an extreme makeover. Indeed, the latter moves away from the American beauty standards of the 1940s and it is not so bad.
If Disney did not want to take risks, it is clear that the magic works. The live action Pinocchio is sublime. Everything is there to delight the spectators. The special effects that give life to Grand Coquin and Gédéon, two antagonists of the film, are impressive. The clever fox and the silly cat, who try to deflect Pinocchio from the straight and narrow, are larger than life. Jiminy Cricket has the right, too, to get a makeover.
For these new modernized adventures of the little wooded boy, Disney combines computer graphics and real shots. A balance that allows us to marvel for 1h45. Special mention for the dozens of cuckoo clocks in Geppetto’s workshop. These allow Disney to offer us two extremely aesthetically pleasing scenes. With a few nods to his masterpieces which are always very appreciable.
The passage on the Enchanted Island is a real pleasure for our eyes. Indeed, it is a festival of colors, sparks, fireworks, debauchery… Everything is there to flatter our retina.
To the music, Alan Silvestri treats us. Of course, we find the songs that made the success of Pinocchio in 1940 but fans will also have the pleasure of discovering new songs. The mean coachman sings about peer pressure perfectly.
Pinocchio’s Lucky Star
If Robert Zemeckis has remained faithful to the 1940 animated film, he has chosen to modernize the adventures of our favorite wooden puppet. Just a tad. Pinocchio thus seems to have calmed down in 80 years. Of course, the woody little boy is still just as naive and easily influenced. Character traits which, moreover, lead him into delicate situations. Much to his chagrin. Nevertheless, he shows more willpower and common sense than in the initial animated film. Or even as in the original tale by Carlo Collodi. We note, thus, a flagrant guilt at times, which was not present in the original feature film.
For questions of customs and consistency with our time, the activities on the Enchanted Island have evolved but the principle remains the same. The rascals are free to do as they please. Here, no cigars or gambling but rather tons of sweets to make you sick, to name just one example.
Likewise, Geppetto is entitled to a deeper dimension than in the animated film. In this live-action, we feel much more the loneliness and sadness of the old carpenter. For this, Zemeckis gives him a wife and a child who are no more. Geppetto’s joy when his wish comes true is therefore all the more touching in this rereading.
Finally, without saying too much, Disney has chosen to revisit the notion of “real boy” in this new film and it is a great idea. Despite a faithful adaptation of the famous Disney animated film, this feature film in live action is therefore punctuated by a few slight changes that make a big difference. Also, during his adventures, the wooden puppet will meet new characters, created for the occasion, such as the puppeteer Fabiana or the seagull Sofia.
Verdict: Pinocchio enchants us
That’s the frustrating thing about Disney. The firm does not crowd by offering remakes and reboots all the time, which is boring. Despite everything, we have to be honest, we can’t help but watch the live-actions of these classics from our childhood. Success is always there, which explains in particular why she continues to do so.
If the live-action of Pinocchio does not revolutionize the adventures of the puppet with the long nose, difficult to remain wood faced with the beauty of the spectacle and this madeleine of Proust. The score is respected with some novelties, all allowing the magic to operate. Decidedly, Disney prayed to the lucky star with this re-reading in real shots. In addition, we are delighted to know that this new version Pinocchio will allow many children to discover the adventures of the puppet who wanted to become a real little boy. And by the way, to be traumatized by the scene with the donkeys. Unless it’s just my case… Still, Pinocchio can be found on Disney+ now.