People seem pretty torn by the live action remakes of Disney’s beloved animated tales. They seem to either love them or hate them. Some people will argue that some of the remakes feature a lot of CGI work, which is essentially another form of animation rather than true “live action.” Some of these movies have fared better than others, but the Rotten Tomatoes scores for most of them are typically lower. The live action Beauty and the Beast won over 71% of the critics vs. 94% for the animated original, the Will Smith version of Aladdin impressed 57% of critics vs. 95% for the Robin Williams one and the Tim Burton version of Dumbo got a low 45% score vs. the original which currently has a score of 98%. Only the newer version of The Jungle Book got a higher score than the animated one – 94% vs. 88%. But despite this, the mouse house keeps making them.
Personally, I will probably always prefer the original over the remakes, but I have enjoyed most of the remakes and seeing how the different directors have tackled these difficult tasks. The newest remake, Pinocchio, debuts on Disney+ next month (ironically the original version plays there too) and unlike the Disney+ “original” remake of Lady and the Tramp, this one is a pretty big affair.
Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Jospeh Gordon-Levitt and The Coachman (Luke Evans). (Walt Disney Pictures)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this Pinocchio stars Tom Hanks as the woodcarver Geppetto who would like nothing more than to be a father of a real boy. Pinocchio (who looks very much like the animated original) is voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth and his “conscience”, Jiminy Cricket, is voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Cynthia Erivo steps in as the Blue Fair, Keegan-Michael Key is “Honest” John and Luke Evans is The Coachman. There is one new character to this mix – Sofia the Seagull voiced by Lorraine Bracco.
The trailer for Pinocchio looks really good, so many this will be a big surprise. Still, one would think that if it IS really good, it would be making its way into theaters first. I guess we’ll see.
Pinocchio debuts on Disney+ on September 8, 2022.
Main Image: Tom Hanks as Gepetto in Pinocchio. Walt Disney Pictures
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.