Review: ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’

While the story of Pinocchio has long been around, the latest adaptation “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” had a different take.

“Pinocchio” is not one of my favorite stories by any means, but this movie still manages to be charming to watch. Its use of stop motion animation to tell the story was done beautifully and is very fitting for the story about a puppet.

The movie was directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson. It stars Ewan McGregor, playing Sebastian J. Cricket, David Bradley, as Geppetto, and Gregory Mann, who voices the namesake Pinocchio. Since it was stop motion animation, it took around fifteen years to create the film, which makes the depiction even more impressive. It was released this year and won best animated feature in the 2023 Oscars. 

The story follows a heartbroken Geppetto, whose son died during the war. One evening, deep in his grief, he wishes to bring his wooden puppet to life. To his surprise, the wish came true and Pinocchio, an unruly boy, comes to life. He goes on many adventures throughout the movie to find one of the main messages of the film, that it is alright to just be himself.

The piece exhibits songs like “My Son” that consist of musical theater-like melodies. But the true star of the movie is its animation, which depicts a world that is intricate and real while still having a fairytale-like quality. I especially enjoyed the ending of the movie which pulled all of the strings of the story together. It took Geppetto a while to see it, but even though Pinocchio was not like his son, he loved him for who he was.

Even though “Pinocchio” itself is not amongst one of my favorite stories, this movie brought the themes of grief and love to life in an artistic way. 

I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a heartfelt message and appreciates beautiful animation.