Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio review: A heart-warming reimagining

‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ is a reimagining of Carlo Collodi’s fantasy story. This film is about a mourning father finding joy in life. It is now streaming on Netflix.


Master Geppetto, a wood carver, lives in a small town in Italy with his son, Carlo. Their life is peaceful as he is a good father and Carlo is an obedient son.

During the Great War, a bomb kills Carlo. After his death, Geppetto loses his happiness and lives for the sake of it.

The grieving father wishes for his son to come to life. One night, when he is drunk, he cuts a tree and carves out a figure from it in an attempt to bring back Carlo.

A spirit decides to fulfill his wish. She puts life in the figure and calls it Pinocchio. She asks Sebastian, a cricket who used to live in the tree that was cut by Geppetto, to make Pinocchio a good boy, and in exchange, she will grant one of his wishes.  

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Geppetto is surprised when he sees that Pinocchio is alive. Pinocchio calls him Papa and brings about a change in his life; Geppetto starts enjoying life again.

Pinocchio is like a newborn child, seeing the world for the first time. He is full of questions and does not understand customs. Unlike Carlo, he is a rebel.

While Geppetto wants Pinocchio to be more like Carlo, obedient and good, Pinocchio just wants to be himself. This causes a rift between them.

Pinocchio leaves to travel with a manipulative showman named Volpe to prove to his father that he is not a burden. On his journey, Pinocchio makes new friends and learns about the ways of the world.

In Pinocchio’s absence, Geppetto realizes his mistake. He then decides to find his son with Sebastian and bring him home.    


Gregory Mann gave an exceptional performance as Pinocchio. It is hard to play the part of a character that is always extremely energetic and excited. Mann played the part so well that he made Pinocchio’s character endearing.

David Bradley played the role of a grieving father adequately. 

Ewan McGregor, as Sebastian, gave the film that extra bit of humour. As the narrator, he left an impression on the audience.

While the whole cast performed well, Christoph Waltz convinced the audience, with dramatic flair, that he is a conniving showman. 


The film’s stop-motion animation is beautiful. The detailed character designs are a delight to watch.

In a subtle fashion, it depicts how fascism affects the personal lives of the citizens. Children are sent to war and taught to like it. They must conform or they will have no space in this society.

The audience gets to see a different view of parents’ love. It is not the simple, unconditional love seen in every other film. In ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’, a parent’s love is complex. 

Pinocchio must behave like Carlo to be loved, and Candlewick must like war to be loved by his father. However, this is not set in stone as love is not unchanging; Geppetto eventually learns his lesson and starts loving Pinocchio for himself.

The film seeks to ask simple questions that adults never ask, even when they do not have the answers to them. Pinocchio’s childlike wonder and innocent questions make the viewers reevaluate concepts like death, religion, education, and more.


Viewers who want a happy ending or viewers who do not like open endings will find the ending of this film disappointing.


People who enjoy reading between the lines should watch this film; it is a lot more than a simple children’s film.

This film will make you see the world from a child’s perspective, the beauty of mortality, and life as a wonderful gift. 

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio review: A heart-warming reimagining 1

Director: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson

Date Created: 2022-12-09 19:43

Editor's Rating:

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