Movie Review: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio

A non-spoiler review of the stop motion Pinocchio movie by Guillermo Del Toro.


Image/Graphics by GuillermoDelToro’

The Netflix movie cover art for Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022).

When you think of Pinocchio, you probably think of the 1940 Disney classic. In 2022, there was –what seemed to be an odd amount– of Pinocchio movies released. From the heavily criticized live-action Disney remake of the classic animation to the film Pinocchio: A True Story –similarly bashed by critics and audiences alike– and then the third Pinocchio movie of 2022, which is very different from the previous two. 

One instantly noticeable aspect of the movie is that it is a stop-motion animated film and absolutely visually stunning, with unique, creative, and insanely well-designed characters and backgrounds. The captivating musical score is by the french composer Alexandre Desplat. An important thing to note about this movie is that it stems from the same source material as Disney’s Pinocchio but is most definitely different from its Disney counterpart. 

This movie takes place in the early 1900s, and the main timeline occurs around the 1930s-1940s. As such, it captures the rise of fascism around Europe, especially in Italy, where the story sets due to the growth of the Axis Powers and Nazi Germany. This film is also darker than the other Pinocchio adaptations, with some existential themes like grief, such as when a character says, “the one thing that makes a human life precious and meaningful, you see, is how brief it is.” The story dives deeper into Geppetto and his motivations and grievances over his son, who had died in WWI. Other Pinnochio movies had slightly referenced but never fully committed to discussing. 

This take on Pinocchio also explores the idea of his own immortality due to never being able to die because he is a puppet. He realizes the sad fact that he would outlive everyone he loves. This movie also accurately portrays Pinnochio as a stubborn, almost ignorant child. In addition, the film shows the internal conflict between Geppetto and accepting Pinocchio as his own son and getting over his deceased son. Overall, the stop-motion Pinnochio is a great movie and one of my favorites from last year. It is a must-see movie, one to enjoy regardless of age.