Parents' Guide to

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Masterful but intense animated version is dark and scary.

Movie NR 2022 120 minutes
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 16 parent reviews

age 9+

Stunning! Marvelous!

( I am a film critic, so here is my view on GDT's Pinocchio) GTD's Pinocchio is a beautiful, intricate movie with a fascinating storyline. It is encapsulating to watch and gives the viewer a specialized sense of thrill that is extremely rare to find otherwise. It realistically depicts fascist Italy and seamlessly incorporates that into its theme. I have read many reviews across numerous websites and the one thing that seems to be recurring is its level of "violence". I completely understand how you find this a bit violent, but GTD said it himself, this movie is meant for adults, although children can watch it. Of course, it is no classical fairytale Disney movie, but that is the beauty of it! Italy and Italians need more representation, and this movie was an accurate depiction of that. Also, some people were complaining about the "frightening" guardian spirits that help Pinocchio in this movie. Yes, these spirits may be "frightening" for your 4-year-old, but know your child before watching the movie. I would also like to compliment this movie's animation. GTD's Pinocchio is COMPLETELY made in stop motion, one of the most difficult forms of animation out there. Pinocchio took over 600 days to make, and it is so amazing to the point where I do not consider it a movie - I consider it art. I especially enjoyed the attention to detail in this movie. The strands of hair, the action sequences, all of it were on point and exquisite. If I could rate this movie 10 stars I absolutely would. ( I have an 8-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son and they all enjoyed the movie!)
age 12+

Too much violence for small children

I will be watching the rest of this movie by myself but I had to turn it off when watching it with my child. The beginning includes: Nazis, AntiChristian sentiment, bomb violence/war, alcoholism and the death of a child.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (16 ):
Kids say (19 ):

Guillermo del Toro's masterful artistry and the magical storytelling he's known for are both on display here, which will please fans but could be too scary for younger kids. His two-hour stop-motion animated Pinocchio, already a dark fable, is made even more somber in this fascist Italy-set rendition, which has several realistic death sequences. It also comes fast on the heels of Disney's own, more sentimental version of the tale, starring Tom Hanks. Del Toro has created a fascinating universe that starts in a beautifully realistic Italian village and transcends worlds, including a rendering of an afterworld limbo overseen by card-playing rabbits. The artisanal animation, created with co-director Gustafson and a broad crew of animators/puppeteers, is fascinating. It's hard not to want to repeatedly hit pause to soak in the vivid detail of the puppets and their settings, and to wonder at how it's all created.

The film also layers onto the classic fairy tale thicker themes about father-son relationships, the meaning of life, religious zeal, and the absurdities of war and authoritarian rule. The latter could be intended as subversive, yet the messages aren't difficult to understand. Nazi salutes and fascist imagery give way to boys undercutting their war games training by declaring a "tie," and the local magistrate calling Pinocchio a "dissident" for being an "independent thinker." There are subtexts here about patriarchs and puppets. One funny bit is the creation of a buffoonish Mussolini who is so tiny and pampered he must be lifted out of his car by an eager attendant. The film has some haunting sequences involving love and death and young boys bonding as they're trained to war against each other, and some gorgeous musical numbers (Alexandre Desplat composed and scored the film) -- especially those featuring Pinocchio's (Mann's) angelic voice. McGregor gives an inspiring voice performance as the pompous cricket-with-a-heart whose narration and regular accidents provide the film's comic relief.

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