Pinocchio left me feeling unsatisfied and thoroughly disturbed


The new Pinocchio movie was released on Sept 8, 2022.

The new Pinocchio movie was upsetting, to say the least. Other than the cat, Figaro, I did not find a single second enjoyable.

I came into the movie with high expectations. I love Disney movies, and because Pinocchio is a classic, I assumed that it would be amusing and fun. To be honest, I had never actually seen the original movie until recently, so going into the new one, I did not entirely know what the plot was.

Pinocchio was directed by Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis had worked with Tom Hanks, who plays Geppetto in the movie, previously in many different iconic films including Cast Away and Forrest Gump. Knowing that both of those movies were done well, I was anticipating enjoying myself during Pinocchio.

Like the original, which was released in 1940, the movie follows a wooden puppet named Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) and his father, Geppetto. When Geppetto makes a wish on the Wishing Star that the puppet he had just finished carving would turn into a real boy, the Blue Fairy (Cynthia Erivo) grants this wish—nearly. Rather than a true, real boy, Pinocchio is a wooden boy. The Blue Fairy leaves after saying that only if Pinocchio is brave, unselfish, and honest will he ever become a real boy.

On a quest to do just that, Pinocchio follows his father’s orders and goes to school. From there, he gets swept away on an adventure. How exciting!

At least, one would think it would be. In reality, the audience is subjected to watching an hour and forty-five minutes of ridiculous problems that do not seem to connect or have any deeper meaning at all. A few of the scenes were so unsettling that even my mom was in disbelief that this movie was meant for children to watch and enjoy. To top it all off, the ending was completely unsatisfying. I was left with questions that logically should have been answered during the movie. 

The plot, in addition to being disturbing and unsatisfying, was also confusing. There are many talking animals, multiple kidnappings, and some children are turned into donkeys against their will. 

As I said previously, Figaro, Geppetto’s pet cat, was my favorite part and character of the movie. He didn’t have any lines, yet he still managed to have a larger impact on me than anyone else. The other part of Pinocchio that I could appreciate was the endearing relationship that grows between Pinocchio and his father.

The actors themselves did well, considering what they had to work with—Hanks, in particular. For what he was given, I think that Hanks did a splendid job at being Geppetto. He was convincing and sincere, which is what actors should be when playing a part. It was the script and plot themselves that needed the work. 

The movie as a whole felt very forced. I can appreciate the re-making of a classic movie in order for extra generations to watch and adore it, but Pinocchio is definitely the wrong movie to choose if the intended audience is supposed to enjoy themselves while viewing. I would only recommend watching Pinocchio if you want to feel confused and as though you just wasted about two hours of your life, which, in all honesty, you ultimately will.