Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio reinvents the classic story of a wooden puppet brought to life through song and stunning stop-motion. Narrated by Ewan McGregor as Sebastian J. Cricket, we’re introduced to Geppetto (David Bradley) who lost his son Carlo (Gregory Mann) during the Great War. After being riddled with grief for many years, Geppetto builds Pinocchio (Gregory Mann).

Highlighted by Frank Passingham’s cinematography, this film is unafraid to immerse us in the horrors of reality, which makes the introduction of Pinocchio, of hope, all the more magical. Mann’s voice acting brings the necessary lightness and wonder that serves as a stark contrast against the rest of his surroundings and this juxtaposition continues throughout. It’s during moments of terror where we find some of the most beautiful imagery and it’s when we’re shown the worst side of humanity where we also witness the capacity of others to love and to sacrifice. 

There are a lot of comedic moments as Pinocchio learns how the world works, reminding us about the absurdity of life, but as much as we want to laugh along, this feeling of being confronted with death and loss never truly lets up, also using fascism and war not only as a backdrop but as a main source of tension and growth for the characters. 

The biggest issue with Pinocchio is that it drags towards the end. There are parts that can be shortened to make it a tighter story and maintain the tension that took a while to build up in the first place, but it remains entertaining nonetheless.

Guillermo del Toro’s retelling of Pinocchio is full of heart and unflinching in its portrayal of the ugliness in the world while also allowing a glimmer of hope to shine through, making it an incredibly  touching story about the resilience of people.



CAST: Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Gregory Mann, Burn Gorman, Ron Perlman, John Turturro, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, Tim Blake Nelson, Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton

DIRECTORS: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson

WRITERS: Guillermo del Toro, Patrick McHale

SYNOPSIS: Guillermo del Toro reinvents the classic story of a wooden puppet brought to life in this stunning stop-motion musical tale