I revel in no small amount of irony at the title card declaring this film is from the studio that brought you the CGI Lion King (the 2019 version) that was poorly received by critics, and deemed passable enough for a family audience. But with some actual cast members on set, Pinocchio is an opportunity for Disney to show off its ability to merge animation and live-action. While that could lead to a more exciting final product, putting the real-life Tom Hanks next to anthropomorphized CG versions of Jiminy Cricket and Honest John doesn’t feel like it’s doing either medium any favors. More importantly, the idea of having to watch the scene where those real kids turn into CG donkeys hybrids—a scene already completely terrifying when it was done solely in 2D animation—could send this version of Pinocchio into truly twisted territory. And let’s not forget Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion adaptation of the folk tale is also set to release in December of this year.

The film stars Tom Hanks as Gepetto, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the titular Pinocchio, Cynthia Erivo appears as the Blue Fairy who gives the puppet life, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt provides the voice for Jiminy Cricket.


Pinocchio will premiere on Disney+ on Disney+ Day, September 8.

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