Disney has been part of our collective culture for almost a century. The characters and narratives have become part of who we are as individuals and as a society.
The original animated film Pinocchio (1940) is one of the company’s earliest classics. Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Carlo Collodi, it is the story of a man who wants to be a father and a puppet named Pinocchio who wants to be a real boy. Guided by a Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio must learn right from wrong and how to trust his instincts.
Though the message is a bit simplistic, it certainly sticks. What makes the movie for me is the story of family and growing up, two subjects that we can all relate to. Do I recommend it? Yes.
Within every fairy tale is a morality tale. The purpose is to teach our children (and our adults) how to behave.
The new film, Pinocchio is a live-actionreboot of the 1940 film of the same name. Based on the story by Carlo Collodi, Geppetto (Tom Hanks) has one wish: for a child of his own. He gets his wish when the Blue Fairy (Cynthia Erivo) brings Geppetto’s newest creation, a puppet to life. Named Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), he wants nothing more than to be a real boy and make his father proud.
But like any child, temptation pulls him in other directions. Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) tries to guide his charge to do the right thing, but he can only do so much. Will this puppet become a real child or is his fate to be just pieces of wood that only slightly resembles a human?
There is a nice balance of updating the narrative for our time while remaining true to the original cartoon. As usual, Hanks is the MVP, playing a complete 180 from his last film.
I noticed a couple of things that I obviously would not have seen as a child. The first is praying to a higher power or the universe (whichever one believes in), may actually bring in the desired results. The second is that you have to work for what you want. Pinocchio was not automatically turned into a human being, he had to earn it.
I haven’t seen the 1940 film in decades, but the message came through loud and clear. Though the story could be seen as slightly moralistic, the idea of listening to your gut applies to anyone of any age.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Pinocchio is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.