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Review: 'Pinocchio' is familiar and satisfying

Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 11:30 AM Central

by John Couture

The 1940 Disney version of Pinocchio has become the go-to version of the moral tale for a myriad of reasons, but that doesn't stop them from making new ones seemingly every year. This latest version of Pinocchio was created in 2012 by an Italian animation house, but it has been re-dubbed with a new cast including Jon Heder and Ambyr Childers.

Given the ubiquity of the Disney version, it's easy to forget that the story first originated as an Italian children's book in the 1880s. Of course, my recent trip to Rome reminded me of this fact as they are quite proud of the wooden doll as evidenced by all of the trinkets in the tourist gift shops.



My kids had seen a few different versions of the Pinocchio tale, but their favorite remains the Disney version. Hey, there's something to be said for good marketing. But they were, nonetheless, intrigued by this new version as I put it in for my review.

The animation style is much different than the one used for the Disney version and they were put off at first but warmed up to the film as they got used to it. While the film follows several familiar plot points of other Pinocchio iterations, there were several new scenes and songs that I haven't heard elsewhere.

As I have mentioned many times before, good animated films are worth their weight in gold to parents. Pinocchio earns high praise in that it gives the familiar tale a new look and feel that really captured my children's imaginations. It was slightly darker than the Disney version, but not overly so that you would have concerns showing it to children older than young toddlers.

The best review I can give Pinocchio is that both of my kids requested to watch it again the day after we reviewed it. I gave in to their demand and I can say that it holds up well to repeat viewings, another important parental requirement.

Pinocchio doesn't reinvent the wheel but it does add a bit shine to the timeless tale. Pinocchio is now available on DVD.