LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Adventures of Pinocchio, The
"Toto, I don't think we're in Disneyland anymore!"
This 1996 production is a marvelous treat. This is the classic, non-Disneyized story of a man who wishes he had a son.
Martin Landau is excellent as Geppetto the puppet-maker. Pinocchio ... well, Pinocchio is computer generated just good enough to make him look like a puppet and not a fully articulated dinosaur.
The story's the thing:
what Pinocchio stays with is its story. The puppet becomes conscious, he has intelligence but not wisdom, and eventually falls in with the wrong crowd. This is a very amusing section of the film. Pinocchio hasn't learned fear yet and walks off the roofs of buildings. It reminds you of why human babies can't walk during their first day of life.
There are also many love relationships here. Genevieve Bujold plays Leone, who has been in love with Geppetto for years. (you didn't see that in the Disney flick, now did you?) Leone rescues Geppetto after the incident with the whale and helps him find Pinocchio. Geppetto is the center of all of the relationships. He too has feelings for Leone, as well as his love of his son. All of the classic subplots of Pinocchio are here, but it is a story of love and real "family values" that come through.
As a cinematic effort, this is a top-notch production with a European flavor. The production values rival Hollywood, plus have the advantage of having been shot on location. Add to that the decision to keep the computerized Pinocchio stiff and jerky rather than smooth, and there's really nothing to knock here.
Directed by Steve Barron
Released in 1996
MPAA Rating: G
Reviewed by Mongo