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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Parents must let their kids learn independence but also be willing to set aside fears and make sacrifices for them. Humans desire company. Having a conscience means following an internal voice for making decisions and knowing the difference between right and wrong. We can't always do what we want when we want. Jobs can restore pride. Wishes can come true. Greed doesn't pay.
Positive Role Models
Pinocchio must learn self-control to turn down temptations and prove himself brave, truthful, and unselfish. Geppetto is willing to sacrifice everything for the good of his son. Jiminy Cricket takes his job serving as Pinocchio's conscience very seriously. Sofia and Sabina look out for their friends. Some other characters seek profit or pleasure without concern for the consequences. Kids consume large quantities of root beer and candy on Pleasure Island.
Set in Italy, but actors are mostly American and British. All speak English. Two main characters are Black women.
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Violence & Scariness
As per the original story, Pinocchio gets into many perilous, life-threatening scenarios on his first day of life. He's kidnapped, imprisoned, nearly turned into a donkey, and swallowed by a sea monster. A beloved character appears to die in one scene. Characters are tossed around, threatened, hit over the head, captured and locked up, set on fire, teased, and enslaved. Villains Stromboli and the Coachman could be scary for young viewers, as could the bad behavior and creepy clown logo of Pleasure Land.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A male insect accidentally puts his hand on the bottom of a female statue and then apologizes. Male and female puppets appear to feel attracted to each other. Girls sing that "real girls like real boys."
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"Jackass," "H-E-double hockey sticks," "bollocks," "blimey," "crock," "jeepers," "holy moly," "holy smoke," "two-bit," and taunts like "stupid," "rascal," "twerp," "loser," "idiot," "jerk," "brat," "scum," "party pooper," "goody two-shoes," and "blockhead."
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Products & Purchases
References to other films, including other Disney products. This remake could inspire interest in other Pinocchio products.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character in a cuckoo clock drinks a bottle of liquor.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this live-action/CGI adaptation of Pinocchio is a bit more intense than the animated classic (which itself has some fairly dark moments). Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) is kidnapped, imprisoned, nearly turned into a donkey, and swallowed by a sea monster. One beloved character appears to die in one scene, and other characters are tossed around, threatened, hit over the head, captured and locked up, set on fire, teased, chased by the sea monster, and enslaved. Some of the situations, evil characters, and bad behavior could prove upsetting for younger or more sensitive viewers. But the messages are solid: Pinocchio must learn to follow his conscience, distinguish right from wrong, resist temptation, and prove himself brave, honest, and unselfish. His maker/dad, Geppetto (Tom Hanks), and his minder, Jiminy Cricket (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), already model these qualities. There are quite a lot of taunts (like "stupid," "loser," "idiot," "jerk," and more) and some teasing. Other language includes "jackass," "H-E-double hockey sticks," "bollocks," "blimey," and "crock." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This retelling of the classic fairy tale boasts an impressive mix of CGI animation and live actors and settings, but the final product feels a little jumbled. Like its many predecessors, this retelling of Pinocchio looks and feels dark in places and could potentially frighten younger viewers. It could also confuse them at points. A full 15-minute intro of Hanks' old man Geppetto talking to his animals and "oddments" in his studio comes across as theatrical and slightly meandering, and it's very different in tone from much of the rest of the action-packed story. Of course, the scene showcases the character and the actor, who is as genuine as always. When he hesitates to send his wooden boy out into the world, holding tight to his tiny gloved hand and fighting back tears, Hanks is surprisingly moving as an animated co-star.
It's always hard to justify setting a film in one country but hiring actors from others to play key roles, as the main cast here has been asked to do in the Italy-set Pinocchio. Accents are all over the place, and some linguistic humor, including use of words like "pedagogy," "flaneur," and "charcuterie," could fly over some heads. Erivo is stunning in her sole scene as the Blue Fairy, starring in one of several memorable musical numbers. Another involves Pinocchio dancing on stage with marionette puppets. Director Zemeckis and team have dropped in some self-congratulatory references, from cuckoo clock characters from other films to inside jokes about actors and agents. These could land differently for different audiences, perhaps like this remake as a whole.
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.