Pinocchio (2002)

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Pinocchio (2002) Movie Poster Image
Live-action dubbed puppet story is creepy and lacks humor.
  • G
  • 2002
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The movie is intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.

Sexy Stuff
Language

"Nitwit," "nincompoop," and other insults.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.   

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLowe's man May 31, 2015

For no one, including die-hard Pinocchio fans.

Just as you and the teen reviewer said, the lip-synched voices and the movements of the mouths were not timed right. Even little kids will notice. Long before... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byBestPicture1996 November 2, 2012

Grossly creepy and bizarre

Usually I try to keep a wide cinematic mind open, but in 2002 when I saw this garbage in theaters, I was haunted. There is a scene in this "Pinocchio... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 5, 2018

What kind of crap is this?

Terrible! Terrible adaption of Pinnochio! It left out all of the magic.

What's the story?

Gepetto (Carlo Giuffre), a kindly puppet-maker, is desperately lonely. When a magical log appears in his workshop, he uses it to create PINOCCHIO (Roberto Benigni, voiced in English by Breckin Meyer), a puppet whom he treats like a real boy. But the puppet has a mind of his own, and when his father sends him off to school with loving parental guidance, Pinocchio is distracted by the promise of everlasting fun and great wealth. Naive and foolish, his adventures in the wide world find him the victim of tricksters, other naughty boys, and his own misbehavior. Only the beautiful blue-haired fairy (Nicoletta Braschi, voiced in English by Glenn Close) and his Cricket conscience (Peppe Barra) enable Pinocchio to finally find the goodness within himself.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characters who encouraged Pinocchio to misbehave. What made Pinocchio listen to them and make bad choices? Kids: Who influences your choices? Are there people in your life or in the media who encourage breaking rules? How do you deal with them?

  • How does this version of Pinocchio compare to others you've read or seen?

Movie details

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