FSM Media

by Dianna Ranere

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio Review | Not Your Parent’s Pinocchio

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio - (Center) Pinocchio (voiced by Gregory Mann). Cr: Netflix © 2022

Traci Shannon (AKA StarTraci) is a blogger at A Star in My Own Universe and is a new author on FSM Media.

Before we start the review, I was fortunate enough to attend a parent roundtable where I had the opportunity to speak with Gregory Mann the voice of Pinocchio and Carlo. Click here to watch.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – (L-R) Pinocchio (voiced by Gregory Mann) and Gepetto (voiced by David Bradley). Cr: Netflix © 2022

Watching Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a visual delight. This shouldn’t be a surprise. He has brought us previous enchantments ranging from Pan’s Labyrinth to the Oscar-winning Shape of Water and so many curiosities in-between. Pinocchio, however, is a new world for him, and a brave one at that.

Never one to shy away from a challenge or abandon his artistic vision, this unique and very non-Disney take on our wooden friend took 10 years to make. From a return to its darker roots to an insistence on stop-motion, nothing about the film was simple or childlike. That does mean it is not for children. It is just that del Toro has a lot of faith in children, as do I.

**Please note age appropriateness and your child’s sensitivities before viewing this film.

The film does not gloss over Geppetto’s (David Bradley) loss of a child. It allows us to meet Carlo Collodi, relate to him, and suffer his loss along with Geppetto. Grief is real, visceral even in this version.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – (L-R) Pinocchio (voiced by Gregory Mann) and Count Volpe (voiced by Christoph Waltz). Cr: Netflix © 2022

Larger subjects of global politics and war are at play as much as the greed of Count Volpe (Christoph Waltz) and his traveling fair. Grownups can be unkind, even cruel in this film. This is true from those we expect like the Count and also from those who are supposed to care for us, like our fathers. As I said, big subjects are carried on little arms with no strings.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – (Pictured) Sebastian J. Cricket (voiced by Ewan McGregor). Cr: Netflix © 2022

Do not despair, scenes you know and love are there. Moreso, a certain blue cricket (if by another name) is there. Most of all, hope is there. Love is there – A giant bridge of love is built and grows stronger throughout. Unlike a cartoon resolution, it’s earned. As an audience, we gave, too, and much like attendants in ancient Greek theatre, we receive catharsis. Del Toro’s bridge carries us through the shadows into a new day of life.  

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is Streaming Now on Netflix.