Pinocchio debuted on Disney Plus, and this new live-action remake maintains a good level of fidelity to the 1940 animated classic, despite some strategic changes. The cast presents an engagement tom hank as Geppetto and features a never-before-seen Blue Fairy who has the face of the talented British actress and singer of color Cynthia Erivo, a casting choice that sparked the usual vulgar social media controversy sparked by those outraged by the not having a “Caucasian” fairy like in previous adaptations; same laughable talk held for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid starring singer and actress Halle Bailey’s short story Ariel, thankfully those laughable polemics last as long as a topic.
Director Robert Zemeckis for the new “Pinocchio”, he teamed up with Tom Hanks with whom he had collaborated during Forrest Gump (“Stupid is he who is stupid”), Castaway (“Wilsoon!”) And polar express, the latter first animated film entirely made in digital capture and performance, which showed Hanks in the form of 6 characters in CGI. This evocative tale of Christmas animation sparked Zemeckis’ craze for performance-based animation, the director after “Polar Express”, which did not turn out to be the expected success, convinced Disney to invest in this new technology with the idea of merging it with the latest generation 3D, thus a joint venture was born that will give life to the Digital ImageMovers with which they will be made in order: the epic Beowulf (2007) and the dark adaptation A Christmas Carol (2009) with Jim Carrey as Scrooge. Both films would turn out to be sound flops, but despite that, Zemeckis still believed strongly in this new form of digital animation, Final Fantasy: Spirits Within obviously he hasn’t learned anything, so he’s going to try one last tail stroke with Milo on Marsa film that will give the final blow to Imagemovers Digital which will close its doors in bankruptcy.
“Pinocchio” partially exhibits the flaws that plagued Zemeckis’ performance capture productions, the resulting magic of marvelous 1940 animation, one of Disney’s artistic heights, in this case ends up being diluted and almost disappearing into a mix of CGI and live-action capable of creating a lush hybrid in the name of photorealism, but lacking in soul, that particular spark typical of traditional animation capable of giving life and heart to fantasy-generated characters. Our preamble to Zemeckis and Disney’s “Imagemovers Digital” was to make sense of what the new live-action “Pinocchio” lacks. When, as in this case, reality and imagination come together using new technologies, trying to recreate in the test tube that special, almost magical blend of nostalgia, wonder and imagination filtered through a look typical of childhood, we end up instead creating a mixture of technology and hyperrealism, in this case filtered through a gaze that is typically more that of adults, and unfortunately the difference is perceived strong, despite the reminiscences which resurface from time to time to remind us of the good “Pinocchio” that was.
“Pinocchio” may not be among the most successful Disney remakes, but we are still faced with high-level entertainment that offers fun and action, maybe some sequences turn out to be a little too busy for little ones, see the sea monster’s heart-pounding chase in the finale and some visually impressive Toyland scenes, but overall Disney always makes sure to create the right mix to appeal to a family audience in just the right measure , target to which the productions of the studio are mainly aimed, characteristics to which “Pinocchio” by Zemeckis responds perfectly.