The wooden boy brought to life

Newly released adaptation of Pinocchio


photo courtesy of CNN 10

Gepetto (voiced by David Bradley) and Pinocchio (Gregory Mann) in “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.”

Rachel Otu, Staff Reporter

Guillermo del Toro released yet another one of his masterpieces on Dec. 9, 2022. The movie follows an adaptation of the children’s book “Pinocchio.

The film follows a father’s wish magically brings a wooden boy to life in Italy, giving him a chance to care for the child. However, the two struggle to find a place for themselves as Italy becomes embroiled in fascism. Del Toro touches on war, religion, acceptance, death,  friendship, and the desperation of losing a loved one. In the end, love triumphs without having to change the main character, in fact, it is he who changes everyone else. 

Using stop animation, Del Toro could express all aspects of love, death, grief, joy, and every raw human emotion. The film has strayed far from a light-hearted children’s film and takes on a bit more heavy and dark tone at times. The setting is during World War II, in an Italy that Mussolini ruled. The setting of war has a significant impact on the film’s plot, in which Del Toro is able to take the general ideas of the original story and expand on them.

Every character is interesting and the worlds are very dense with details. The complexity of each character helps to bring the movie to life and keeps viewers interested throughout the whole movie. While having a dark tone, the movie also finds a way to be upbeat and charming at times. One of the best quotes from the film “If he is made of wood like me, how can everyone love him but hate me.” The quote shows the world needs to learn how to love and accept one another, which is an underlying theme throughout the film. 

The soundtrack to the movie did a fantastic job of adding to the film and the plot itself. Alexandre Desplat did a wonderful job of knowing which pieces would add to the story instead of becoming a distraction from the film. The film takes on a bit of a musical aspect as well with Pinocchio singing throughout various parts of the film, each song is beautifully written. 

The new Pinocchio may no longer be the more light-hearted Disney version but it still takes on a beautiful story of grief, love and acceptance in the new version. Guillermo Del Toro and everyone who worked on this movie did a spectacular job from beginning to end. Overall the two-hour film was a 5/5 for me.