Newest ‘Pinocchio’ adaptation fails to modernize the classic

Disney’s newest live action film “Pinocchio” attempts, but fails, to add a refreshing spin on the original film. The film is packed with talented actors such as Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Cynthia Ervio. With the addition of the brilliant computer-generated imagery (CGI) and big name actors, the new adaptation has all of the parts to be a fantastic re-imagination of the classic, but the script and plot changes made to the story fall flat.

The story revolves around the marionette Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) and his creator, Geppetto (Tom Hanks). After the creation of Pinocchio, Geppetto wishes upon a star to make Pinocchio a real boy. His wish is granted by the Blue Fairy (Cynthia Ervio), and Pinocchio comes to life.

Story reconstructions are necessary for the film’s success, but the choices for the new additions weren’t successful. For example, the choice to switch out smoking on Pleasure Island to cyberbullying is a failed attempt at trying to understand the younger generation.

In addition to failing to connect with the younger viewers, jokes targeted towards parents and older viewers felt very forced. When Jiminy Cricket (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) makes jokes about actors having no conscience, it feels unnatural, and the joke doesn’t land.

The moral to not lie and to listen to your conscience from the 1940’s film seemed rushed and glossed over in the new adaption of the film. The message was only brought out at the very end when Pinocchio and Geppetto finally reunite, but it wasn’t highlighted throughout since there was so much going on in the film.

In the rendition, the adventures were fast paced and added lots of action, but lacked communication of the moral. Whereas in the original, most major events in the film were followed with an explanation of how they fit with the theme.

The story clearly has its flaws, but there are some redeeming moments. The CGI replicated the old nostalgic form of Pinocchio by recreating the familiar wooden figure, proving Disney’s talent in animation.

The soundtrack is another fantastic part of the film. Alan Silvestri succeeds in creating an engaging soundtrack for younger children, and a nostalgic one for viewers of the original movie. The harmonies and swells of the music create a pleasant atmosphere and match the action in the film nicely.

Hanks’ and Ervio’s performances were the strongest in the adaptation. Hanks has proven his talent in warm and friendly roles, and Geppetto was no exception. Ervio’s performance was very strong in regards to both her singing and acting. Her caring portrayal brought the Blue Fairy to life and created a memorable character.

“Pinocchio’s” attempt at modernizing the classic failed overall, but had moments of glory that shined through. Personally, I would not recommend this movie to my peers because the storyline is bland, but I will be playing it next time I babysit because it is engaging for kids.

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Kate Magee
Kate Magee is a junior at Bexley High School and is a staff reporter for the Torch. Outside of the Torch, she plays volleyball and lacrosse for the high school. She also participates in the Bexley Vocal Ensemble and is a book club co-captain.