Movie Review: Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Pinocchio’


Jay Kettle Williams

Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pinocchio” is streaming only on Netflix December 9th.

Max Spiegel, Staff Writer

After the extremely lackluster success of Disney’s remake of the animated classic “Pinocchio,” Director Guillermo Del Toro released his version of the film on Netflix. The question remains: Is his adaptation of Pinocchio as good as Disney´s, or is it another misstep for the title character?

“Pinocchio” was written by Guillermo Del Toro and Patrick McHale and directed by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafan. It stars Gregory Mann as Pinocchio, alongside Ewan McGregor, David Bradely, Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Finn Wolfhard, Christoph Waltz , John Tuturro and Ron Pearlman. The film tells the story of a father’s wish that magically brings a wooden boy named Pinocchio to life.

When I first heard that this film was in the works, I thought that Netflix had lost their minds. Another animated Pinocchio movie releasing the same year as Disney’s remake of their animated Pinocchio sounded like a lazy attempt by Netflix to get more content. However, when it was announced that Guillermo Del Toro was going to be writing and directing it, my interest was piqued. Being the writer and director of “The Shape of Water” which won best picture at the 2018 Academy Awards, he had quite the reputation to uphold. With all this in mind, I went into the film, hoping it would decent at least. 

The best aspect of this film was easily the incredible stop motion animation. This was by far the best stop motion I have seen since 2016´s “Kubo and the Two Strings.” Every single scene of this film has amazing attention to detail, as well as phenomenal production design. After watching “Pinocchio”, I really hope to see more movies with stop motion animation.

Another aspect of this movie that really struck me was that it was a lot more emotional than I was expecting. The character of Geppetto was given a detailed backstory, adding depth and emotion to his character’s experiences. I found this to be vastly different from the version put out by Disney. Additionally, Pinocchio appears as a charming and hopeful character, full of life and optimism, even in the toughest of challenges.

I thought the film had great messages about caring for loved ones and being yourself that was way more impactful than I was expecting. I found myself teary eyed during certain parts of the movie. After watching this film, I was just mesmerized at how Guillermo Del Toro and the crew behind this movie were able to make such a captivating experience from a familiar childhood story.

Honestly, I don’t have any real negatives with this movie, however, I will say the film tries a few attempts at musical numbers and while they were somewhat amusing, they felt out of place with the rest of the movie. 

 I thought Del Toro’s “Pinocchio” was a masterfully crafted version of the Pinocchio source material, and I might honestly prefer it to Disney’s original animated movie (and it was certainly better than that garbage of a remake Disney put out this year). As for a recommendation, I would definitely say to give this film a watch for those looking for a feel good movie, as I found “Pinocchio” to be one of the best films of the year.