One might think that there are quite a few Pinocchio movies out there (there are a few, to be certain), but each one of them has its own feel, even if it ends up telling the same story. I say ‘if’ because there are a few movies out there using the wooden puppet’s name to sell a slightly different type of story, such as Pinocchio’s Revenge, which is a strange tale that has little to nothing to do with the story that was told in the Disney+ version, which many would call the real Pinocchio. There’s no desire to argue with this since this tale is one that many of us grew up with when we were younger. There are a few changes here and there that people might have noted, but no matter what critics do or don’t say, this movie was actually kind of pleasant, a little corny, but also a great family movie since despite a few disturbing moments, there’s nothing that’s too intense for kids to handle. Plus, there are a few moments that might be noted as serious deviations from the original animated version, but hey, that was bound to happen.
Jiminy Cricket’s character felt more accurate than some versions have accomplished.
There might be a few cynical individuals out there who want to criticize the use of CGI with Jiminy or even state that he felt a little too overdone, but honestly, he felt like he belonged in the story since he is Pinocchio’s conscience, at least in the beginning, and it’s easy to think that without the cricket in the movie that a lot of people would have felt that his absence was a huge hole that needed to be filled. When all was said and done, though, he did play his part as it needed to be played, and one could say that this movie did feel as though it was printed directly from the animated version, with just a few needed tweaks and updates here and there to make it a little more palatable to today’s audience.
The continued presence of the Coachman on Pleasure Island was creepy, but it helped to round out the story.
It feels like it’s been a minute since we’ve seen Luke Evans in a prominent role, doesn’t it? But the fact is that Evans puts on quite a performance as the Coachman, especially considering that this is a character that a lot of people might have forgotten after so long. With all due respect, the Coachman is more of a throwaway character to some folks since he ferries kids to Pleasure Island and doesn’t do a lot more in the story, but Evans was there long enough to put his stamp on the character and to make sure that people would remember him. To say that his character was creepy is putting it mildly since he ended up being the master of the strange smoke creatures that inhabited the island and who were responsible for gathering up the bad children who had turned into donkeys. It’s also nice that he’s not so overbearing in his role that he ends up drowning out Pinocchio, or even Lampwick for that matter. If anything can be said about the Coachman, it’s that he feels like more of a character and less of a faceless, nameless presence that’s there to simply do a job and be ignored.
There were a few changes that might have made some folks roll their eyes or wonder what in the heck was going on.
The images of Pleasure Island were interesting since it didn’t change so much as it expanded, becoming a ride as well as an experience to showcase kids misbehaving and doing anything they wanted. Swapping out rootbeer for actual beer wasn’t too bad, and the absence of cigars wasn’t a big deal, especially since it wouldn’t have served much of a purpose other than as a comedic element that a lot of people might have felt the need to comment on. But moving on from that, another very obvious change is that of Monstro, the killer whale that was actually a sperm whale in the animated version but somehow became an actual sea monster in this movie. It wasn’t a bad change, really, just one of those that was enough to make a person say ‘hm, that’s interesting’.
It’s easy to say that this was an enjoyable movie.
Sure it became a little sappy now and then and kind of corny in some areas, but it wasn’t meant to be an action-packed movie that would keep people on the edge of their seats. Pinocchio has been a family movie for years, and this version definitely reminds a person of that while allowing them to have a good time with it. Plus, whether or not Pinocchio actually became a flesh and blood boy after a while is still a question that people are asking.