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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio

In this dark reimagining of the classic tale, Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio brings the titular boy to life unlike any other film before. With the help of his conscience Sebastian J. Cricket, and his father Geppetto, Pinocchio will learn what it is to be human, and see the world's many paradoxes of life; all against the backdrop of Mussolini's fascist Italy.

Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Tilda Swinton, Gregory Mann, Finn Wolfhard, Ron Pearlman, Cate Blanchett, Tim Burton Nelson, John Tuturro, Burn Gorman, Christopher Waltz & Tom Kenny.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is as beautifully crafted as you’d imagine, with its perfect stop motion animation to its commentary on Facism during the times of the World War. Each member of the cast delivers great performances, but it isn’t the perfect film.

Being the sixth Pinocchio film in the last few years, Guillermo’s timing for producing another adaptation of the story is unfortunately poor, while every technical element is to a fantastic degree, the retelling of the story often felt too repetitive. Particularly with the conflict in the film, which felt too familiar to previous films before and did become repetitive in events. Characters would fall and try to get back up, this happens many times throughout the runtime and becomes tiring, putting a big halt on the pacing.

Narratively, it is at its peak when it focuses on the facist approach, bringing a lot of darkness to the story that is used as a great tool for Pinocchio’s character development. Unfortunately, towards the ending of the film, it throws a plot device into the film in a rather cheap way and pulled me out of the emotional punch of the film.

While the flaws are rather distracting at times, it’s so gorgeous crafted through character designs and cinematography that features a lot of visual storytelling that felt refreshing to see, rather than another standard retelling through the narrative. Each cast member deliver fantastic performances, both with acting and their musical numbers, many cast members surprising me. The musical number are delightful to listen to with the fantastic composition and poetic lyrics, it’ll definitely make its way to the Oscars.

Overall, it was incredibly refreshing to see Guillermo introduce plot points that were unfamiliar with the story of Pinocchio. Each crew and cast member work to perfection, but unfortunately the pacing and narrative let the film down a touch.

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