Pinocchio (2022)

Certificate: PG

Starring: Tom Hanks, Cynthia Erivo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Release date: 2022

3 out of 5


Another day, another live action/CGI Disney remake of a Disney animated classic. Now it’s the turn of the 1940 movie Pinocchio – based on a story by Carlo Collodi about the wooden puppet who can walk and talk and who dreams of becoming a real boy.

While this version from Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis keeps reasonably closely to the animated tale – Pinocchio is carved by woodworker Geppetto, turned into a living doll by the Blue Fairy and then has various adventures on the way to learning what it is to be ‘real’ – there are some modern, and occasionally awkward updates.

Geppetto (Hanks) is now a bereaved dad mourning his lost child (which is interesting but not explored enough), and there is the addition of a new marionette character for Pinocchio to befriend, both details that don’t really add much to the story.

Fans of the original movie will be on the lookout for the mega moments – such as Pleasure Island and Pinocchio being swallowed by the whale – and these are both feasts for the eyes, but the quieter moments where we are supposed to fall in love with Pinocchio and his ‘conscience’ Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Gordon-Levitt) aren’t quite as satisfying.

The CGI Pinocchio looks like a soft-toy version of the original animation, which doesn’t quite work, while very young viewers may find Jiminy looking like an alien insect a little too creepy for comfort.

Of course, Hanks is sweet and watchable as Pinocchio’s papa, and an underused Cynthia Erivo delivers a beautiful version of ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’, but in the end – especially with other versions of the story out there, including the 2019 adaptation and Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming Netflix movie – this just isn’t lovely or memorable enough to grab your attention.

Is Pinocchio (2022) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...


Very young viewers may be scared by Jiminy Cricket’s appearance (see review).

As with the animated movie, the scenes at Pleasure Island are loud and a little scary for the under-8s.

Geppetto and Pinocchio are swallowed by a whale, but it isn’t as scary as you would imagine and most children should be fine as they free themselves soon after.

If you like this, why not try: