It’s all getting a bit silly now, isn’t it?
Written by Niamh Brook / September 14, 2022
Twelve years after Disney’s first live-action re-make, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, we’ve since been ‘treated’ to another 14 live-action remakes of classic Disney animated films. Now, for the record, I am a huge Disney lover and a fully-fledged Disney adult; in theory, these films are made for people like me and yet, I can’t stand them. I’ve watched almost every remake released to date, sat through them as I grew from my pre-teens to my early twenties and with each one, as soon as the credits roll, I have instantly forgotten about them.
Robert Zemeckis’ Pinocchio is the 15th CGI monstrosity to be released by the house of mouse and is the first to be so forgettable, that you start to forget about it before it’s even over. I desperately wanted Pinocchio to work. As a child, I never reached for the Pinocchio VHS, finding it boring, confusing and a touch scary and I truly wanted this new version to educate me on how the 1940 film was heralded as a classic. However, now as an adult, I found Zemeckis’ version exactly the same: boring, confusing and a touch scary.
I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly makes Pinocchio so dull but if I really had to, it would be a mixture of weak performances, creepy CGI and uninspired direction. Every moment of the film feels flat, feeling constantly as though things are about to get started and as quickly as things start to become vaguely interesting, we end on an ambiguous freeze frame. For a nearly two-hour-long film, you spend hardly any time getting to know the characters, instead, Zemeckis prefers jumping from scene to scene at a breakneck pace while shoe horning in cringe-inducing jokes reflecting an attempt at metta humour with no real target audience in mind.
Now, I am (almost) as much of a Tom Hanks fan as I am a Disney fan and I was reassured when I pressed play that I at least had good old Hanksy to save me from what I was about to endure...God was I wrong. This is arguably one of Tom Hanks’ worst performances to date, with terrible dialogue performed with an even more baffling Italian accent. Don’t get me wrong, I think he looked incredibly sweet with his little white moustache, but no amount of sweet Hanks can distract from the at times literal horror show on the screen before me.
I knew what I was getting into before I started Pinocchio and yet there was a part of me that was expecting something more, as I tend to do with every live action re-make. Pinocchio is arguably one of the worse live-action re-makes to date and released in amongst a wave of live-action announcements it makes me wonder, “Just how much more of this do we have to endure?”.