Does anyone in 2022 really have strong feelings about the story of Pinocchio? It’s not perplexing that Disney wants to continually mine its back catalogue, but why did Academy Award winning director Robert Zemeckis willingly sign on to this revival which lacks any pizzazz, intrigue, or heart?

Having found success through character reinvention (case in point – Emma Stone’s brilliant Cruella), you’d think Disney would bring a new angle to the wooden puppet hoping to be “real” boy along with his two-dimensional creator Geppetto (Tom Hanks).

The production spent months in London on a freezing sound stage in order to bring this utterly uninspired retelling to life. It’s no secret that Zemeckis was constantly frustrated on set, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall for his animated feature. Frequent collaborator Tom Hanks was able to escape after only a few weeks on the London set, but he didn’t do himself any favors as Geppetto. This is Hanks’ worst outing since his turn as director, writer, and actor in Larry Crowne (2011).

Zemeckis’ film doesn’t hold a candle to the original Disney animated feature from 1940, and if we’re being honest, it’s several rungs on the ladder below Tim Burton’s lackluster Dumbo remake.

Pinocchio is a movie caught between being real and fantasy, faltering in comparison to the original animated movie, and only proving to be garish, unlikable, and off-putting. If you’re going to resurrect this story, at least do something different, more challenging, or more relevant to our modern culture, because Disney already made an old-fashioned, family friendly version, and just making a worse version of that is not exactly going to make that Pinocchio IP more valuable. It’s a hard pass, even if you’re streaming from the comfort of your own home.

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron is the Awards Editor and Founder of Awards Focus, in addition to being a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's Behind the Slate Screening Series for Emmy and Oscar nominees, The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series, The Hollywood Music and Media Academy FYC Series, and Emmy & Oscar panels for Society of Lyricists and Composers.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, Lovecraft Country & The White Lotus; and the Apple TV + hit series Ted Lasso.

In February of 2020, Byron hosted and organized the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

Byron is also a patent holding inventor, screenwriter, and songwriter (X-Men Apocalypse) in addition to being a proud member of The Society of Lyricists & Composers and BMI.

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