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You could watch the 2022 'Pinocchio,' but why when the original is so much better?

Well, they’ve remade Pinocchio. By which I mean, Disney has continued with their recent tradition of making live action-slash-CGI versions of their beloved classic animated films, to varying results. This one’s directed by Robert Zemeckis, who’s had wild success with people sharing the screen with cartoons in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and also with wholly CGI animation, a la The Polar Express.

If you’ve seen Disney’s 1940 version of Pinocchio, you know the story of this remake almost beat for beat, with one or two added touches. Tom Hanks plays Geppetto, because of course he does, and he plays the man with kindness, an indistinguishable accent, and the usual Tom Hanks tics. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the voice of Jiminy Cricket, which is occasionally unfortunate, especially when he gets a little too folksy and creaky with that voice. Pinocchio does what Pinocchio does, gets caught up with Stromboli, and Pleasure Island, and the growing nose, and all that. The more diverse cast is certainly welcome, with Cynthia Erivo playing the Blue Fairy and some other non-white faces and voices.

But, ok: This is available on Disney+, and when you pull up the app and search for Pinocchio, right beside this new version, the original Disney animated film will pop up, too. And I cannot figure out why anyone would choose to watch this one. If you or your child has seen the 1940 version, this new one is so similar that it will be basically like watching the movie you’ve already seen, minus the magic. And if you’ve not seen the original, why would you not explore the truly beautiful world of Disney’s 2D animation? It’s groundbreaking, and still drop dead gorgeous. And even with Zemeckis at the helm, this new Pinocchio is just not terribly different from the other computer animation you’re seeing right now. There’s a reason Disney’s original film is something people still treasure 82 years after it came out, and there’s a reason this new Pinocchio will hardly be remembered one year from now.

Pinocchio is on Disney+

Fletcher Powell has worked at KMUW since 2009 as a producer, reporter, and host. He's been the host of All Things Considered since 2012 and KMUW's movie critic since 2016. Fletcher is a member of the Critics Choice Association.