A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is intended to entertain, not educate.
Very clear messages throughout: Get-rich schemes never work, telling a lie is always bad, success is based on hard work and honesty, never break your promises, and always listen to your parents.
Positive Role Models
The main character behaves badly many times; he's dishonest, naughty, and unruly. It takes repeated mistakes before he finally sees the light and becomes a caring, obedient, honest, and hardworking boy. Parental figures are warm-hearted and trusting to a fault. The many villains are all one-dimensional characters: selfish, greedy, and dishonest.
Violence & Scariness
Many action sequences that could be frightening and confusing to kids. Characters die and/or get injured, and some then come back to life -- including Pinocchio (shown in shadows, hanging lifeless from a rope for several minutes), Gepetto (he disappears in the ocean after his boat capsizes and doesn't reappear until much later), and a young man who is turned into a donkey and ultimately dies. There are black-clothed, shadowy characters labeled "assassins" and "robbers" that threaten Pinocchio and laugh hideously. The traditional whale that swallows Pinocchio and his father is a scary creature with giant teeth. Also chases, falls, a runaway log wreaking havoc on a village, and fist fights.
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"Nitwit," "nincompoop," and other insults.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this live-action Italian version of Pinocchio has many dark, confusing scenes; is (badly) dubbed into English; and, at nearly two hours, is very slow going. Characters are in jeopardy throughout: Some are injured, some appear dead for lengthy periods of time, and some actually are dead. Pinocchio has many narrow escapes -- from drowning, hanging, getting caught in an animal trap, being swallowed by a whale, and more. The movie's messages are heavy handed and repetitious, but eventually the naughty puppet does see the error of his ways. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Skip this one: Walt Disney's animated Pinocchio is imaginative, fun, and a much better film. As if it weren't bad enough to watch the bounding energy of a misguided, middle-aged Italian actor delighting in playing a schoolboy, when he's dubbed in the screechy voice of a young English-speaking actor, the "mismatched" heroic puppet-boy is even more unappealing. Coupled with uneven pacing, a nearly two-hour running time, and inept storytelling -- some elements aren't fully developed, and others are never resolved -- the film is almost unwatchable.
Plus, there are scary moments, unnecessarily ghoulish events (Pinocchio hanging limply from a tree in silhouette; the death of his friend after being turned into a donkey) and a general randomness that precludes any satisfying character arc.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.