Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – The DVDfever Review – Netflix – Ewan McGregor

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio brings the famous 1883 story, by Carlo Collodi, to Netflix’s platform, in a stop-motion animation style in Mr del Toro’s style, yet will be a lot more palatable for children compared to October’s Cabinet of Curiosities, even if this new movie is still quite dark.

In this telling of the tale, toymaker Geppetto (David BradleyThe Responder) builds a toy boy – not the Sinitta kind – but because his son, Carlo, died, and to whom he’d told him the story that if he lies, his nose will grow. Alas, while our carpenter building a Jesus/crucifix figure in the church, and Carlo rushes in to assist, a certain calamity comes along just at the wrong time…

However, with the assistance from a blue spirit (okay, Wood Sprite, voiced by Tilda SwintonSnowpiercer), and plenty of narration from Sebastian J Cricket – aka, just Cricket (Ewan McGregorRaymond and Ray) in this incarnation of the tale, Pinocchio, the wooden boy comes to life, and like Carlo, he’s voiced by Gregory Mann. He’s similarly boisterous, and initially comes across rather like the robot in Brian and Charles.

As a film, it’s quite sweet even though Pinocchio is quite ugly, and as events roll on, we see him lying about being a real boy, causing his nose to grow, but then he’s tricked into being effectively kidnapped by a man known as Count Volpe (Christoph WaltzAlita: Battle Angel), a complete weirdo oddball. Meanwhile, the darkness continues as Nazi, Podesta (Ron PerlmanDon’t Look Up) wants to enlist him as a soldier in the youth camps, so it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows for our hero.

We’re given a lesson in how life is precious, and since this film does rather go on by 20-30 minutes, I can see that. It’s also been a long while since I saw the 1940 Disney film, and looking at the plot for that now, I can see the similarities which I’d forgotten, including how there wasn’t the Nazi aspect to it.

Also, there are songs here and there, but nothing as light as the Disney movie, and I’ve never heard Jiminy say “bugger off” before, to the fireflies who – soon after – form the aforementioned Wood Sprite.

Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is on Netflix from December 9th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.

Check out the trailer below:

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – Official Trailer – Netflix

Detailed specs:

Running time: 117 minutes
Release date: December 9th 2022
Studio: Netflix
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
Score: 7/10

Directors: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
Producers: Alexander Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, Guillermo del Toro, Lisa Henson, Gary Ungar
Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro, Patrick McHale
Screenstory: Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
Novel: Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Music: Alexandre Desplat

Voice cast:
Cricket: Ewan McGregor
Geppetto: David Bradley
Pinocchio / Carlo: Gregory Mann
Priest: Burn Gorman
Podesta: Ron Perlman
Dottore: John Turturro
Candlewick: Finn Wolfhard
Spazzatura: Cate Blanchett
Black Rabbits: Tim Blake Nelson
Count Volpe: Christoph Waltz
Wood Sprite / Death: Tilda Swinton
Mussolini / Right Hand Man / Sea Captain: Tom Kenny
Carlo / Pinocchio Additional Voices: Alfie Tempest
Podesta’s Wife / Twin Daughter 1 / Parishioner Woman / Dottore’s Wife: Anthea Greco
Twin Daughter 2 / Old Woman / Street Sweep: Francesca Fanti
Fruit Vendor / Butcher: Sandro Carotti
Milliner / Soldier / Carnival Worker: Rio Mangini
Confident Boy / Laughing Boy: Benjamin Valic
Young Girl: Sky Alexis
Older Girl: Ariana Molkara
Young Boy: Roy Halo
Barrel Man / Soldier / Carnival Worker: Luciano Palmeri
Carnival Worker: Peter Arpesella