Pinocchio from Netflix VS. Disney’s Pinocchio, which is the best movie?

I wish Walt Disney would wake up for five or six hours and have time to see what his company has done with its immortal classic, Pinocchio, and what del Toro has done in stop-motion (and if he has some time, watch Lies of P, that we have not yet come out of our general astonishment) and share your opinion after what you have seen. Finished the Mexican Pinocchio, recently released on Netflix, it was inevitable for me to think about the easy comparison with the Disney counterpart in 2022 of Pinocchio with Robert Zemeckis in front. In fact, I found the coincidence in the calendar curious for some and unfortunate for others: the little time between one and the other has underlined the sensation of enjoying a film made by artisans and artists and another made by businessmen with briefcases and ties. Is that so? I’d like to discuss some key points from both films, starting, of course, with Pinocchio himself.

As redundant as it may seem, the recreation of Pinocchio is essential for the success of a revision of Carlo Collodi’s classic. Disney opted for CGI in an obvious movement that tries to emulate what we saw in the 1940 classic, while Guillermo del Toro and his stop-motion have given the character a unique character at all levels, even in the film itself. . His first appearance borders on “deltoresque” terror, and his design denotes the little care of a Gepetto who has created an asymmetrical puppet that pretends to look like his son, Carlo, but doesn’t look like him at all. It’s the idea: Petto is more drunk than Nacho .

Disney’s Pinocchio is sober and boring. Any lover of the Walt Disney classic would say that it is even a betrayal of the original . The 2022 Pinocchio is a carbon copy of the original, but its technical invoice is debatable and worthy of a direct-to-streaming premiere. But his problems do not end there: he is kind, he understands what is good, what is evil and does not need a conscience, which is why Jiminy Cricket’s role is called into question in the production of Zemeckis , contributing little or nothing to learning about wooden boy.

Animated charisma VS. Clunky CGI

Del Toro’s Pinocchio is very different: he is a newborn 8-year-old boy, capricious, inquisitive, lazy and a bit cheeky , even driving Gepetto himself to despair. In short: a child of his age. Of course, he has a conversation with his father about a wooden carving that makes you connect with him and understand his existence in a world and time that does not understand it or want to. One of the most valuable moments of all the footage, but by no means the only one. The tutelage of Sebastian J. Grillo (voiced by Ewan McGregor) is consistent for what is expected of the character. The same happens with Gepetto in both cases.

Gepetto is one of the most interesting points of both adaptations, but for completely different reasons. Zemeckis opted for a Tom Hanks more than settled in the Disney payroll to do what is probably one of the worst roles signed by the Californian actor. He is a senile, clumsy, boring Gepetto who, beyond his characterization, in no way resembles the affectionate and tender father from the 1940 film. His performance is on automatic pilot and is so naive it’s scary: where he passes he doesn’t stain , where it passes not clean. We can (and should) ask Tom Hanks for more .

 Del Toro’s Gepetto, played by David Bradley, is a three-dimensional character, both literally and figuratively speaking . He lives in his flesh the tragedy of a lost son and the effects of alcoholism in a society submerged in the midst of Italian fascism and World War II. Gepetto has fallen into disgrace, he is anti-war and fearful. Have you ever wondered what the carpenter felt when he saw his creation of living wood from one day to the next? Not me, but Guillermo del Toro, very intelligently, yes. The fake and stop-motion Gepetto is more human and realistic than Tom Hanks.

The artisan’s companions in the Disney film are the immortals Figaro and Cleo, a cat and a fish from whom hyperrealism has stolen all the charm they inherited from Walt. The Spazzatura monkey (with the surprising voice of Cate Blanchett) is Guillermo del Toro’s only animal in the entire footage, becoming an important character and bearer of one of the most valuable lessons in the outcome of the work sponsored by Netflix . While the monkey is one of the hidden ones in history due to its interaction with Pinocchio, the puppets and Count Volpe, Figaro and Cleo in 2022 are mere extras.

Risks, songs and wrong decisions

A curious thing happened to me yesterday: with a hangover from Pinocchio I put on one of my favorite animated movies of all time, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Being also stop-motion, I realized and appreciated even more the technical achievement of the del Toro team in the cameras, photography and staging of its protagonists; while the shots of the one in Houston are static (also the result of the symmetry that is the trademark of the Houston filmmaker, even in productions with flesh and blood actors), the shots of the Mexican are completely improbable for stop-motion , the result of a tireless and financially calamitous work for years and years.

The new Disney Pinocchio, unfortunately, will never be able to say that he has come to contribute anything at all to the medium. The CGI used in the fanciful characters is the poorest that the firm has seen in recent times, presenting characters that do not seem to exist on stage and anthropomorphically adapting Honest John, Gideon and Jiminy Cricket with dubious results. The culmination of failure comes with the conversion of Moth to an ass : the dark, terrifying and disturbing aspects of the original remain a bad joke in the modern version. An insulting ridiculousness for any lover of the classic. A complete disappointment.

 Yes, the one from Disney dares to add new musical numbers, a completely ineffective puppet subplot and a Monster that looks like a mutant whale that is not scary at all; Guillermo del Toro bets on his unique style for Monstruo, the presence of a comedian Benito Mussolini, the fascist touches of many of his characters and adding a youth military training camp in the middle of World War II instead of the Island of Games, granting a unique identity to the film and valuable for the whole family. It is indisputable that Zemeckis’s production is one of the live-action productions of the mouse factory that is most anchored to the original work, which prevents it from detaching itself, artistically or narratively, from the story adapted by Walt Disney. The result? You’re going to want to enjoy the 1940s one as soon as you finish it.