Everybody remembers the Disney classic, Pinocchio, but of course, Disney doesn’t just have the option to make that movie themselves. The story is a public domain tale that has since been adapted into various formats since that 1940 classic was released.
Today, we take a look back at the one from 1996, The Adventures Of Pinocchio:
The Adventures of Pinocchio is a 1996 fantasy adventure film based on Carlo Collodi’s original novel of the same name, directed by Steve Barron, written by Sherry Mills, Steve Barron, Tom Bender and Barry Berman, and starring Martin Landau, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Rob Schneider, Udo Kier, Bebe Neuwirth, David Doyle and Geneviève Bujold.
You essentially get the same story of Pinocchio told time and time again except this time, told in a live-action format.
The overall result is a noble ambitious adaptation that does not really come together as well as I think they wanted it to be.
The casting of Martin Landau as Geppetto is very well done and Landau does carry a lot of the weight of this movie, Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Pinocchio is perfectly fine in this, he’s doing his best with the material given here. The two do work off each other very well.
Some of the visual effects are nicely done, while there are definitely some dated effects in this, just watch the scenes with not Jiminy Cricket and especially the donkey transformation scene, my god, those effects don’t hold up well at all. Pinocchio himself is a nicely done visual effect, the majority of the effects are done by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and I get the sense that if Jim Henson was still alive when this was being made, we would’ve had a better project.
The overall story is what you’d expect from Pinocchio, you have a lot of the stories in his life you’d expect, his school experience, being sold off to a puppeteer, going to Pleasure Island (or in this case Terra Magica), that’s all expected, there are a lot of changes to the story specifically with the Terra Magica sequences as the Monstro whale scene from the Disney movie is replaced as the climax for more stuff at Terra Magica. The story is just okay, nothing about it really impresses and again, a lot of the visual effects just don’t hold up with time as some of the others do.
That’s the best way to describe The Adventures Of Pinocchio, a movie that tries its’ best to be something on par with the Disney classic but it just can’t come across as anything more than just a mediocre movie. It’s not terrible, it’s not god-awful but it’s not that impressive either, it’s just kind of run-of-the-mill, I wish a better movie was made with this concept but you know what, I will say this, this live-action Pinocchio certainly kicks the everlonging crap that is the 2002 Pinocchio movie….oh, you don’t remember that one? Well, check back here next week to find out what I’m talking about.
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