Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Pinocchio the wooden boy

Guillermo del Toro was everywhere at the beginning of 2023, promoting what increasingly became known as Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio in the Oscars window between Christmas and awards night. Tirelessly, enthusiastically, he made the case that his film should have been in contention not just for Best Animated Feature but also Best Picture. Why shouldn’t animation be treated as seriously as live action, he argued. At one point while in London del Toro got stuck in a lift between appearances. That, too, ended up on social media as part of the promotional caravanserai, an example of turning that frown upside down. In the end Pinocchio won Best Animated Feature. I suspect the only … Read more


The Fairy with the Turquoise Hair and Pinocchio with long nose

To the question: Is there a canonical Pinocchio I can enjoy in movie form, the answer is “Yes, this one by Matteo Garrone”. It takes Carlo Collodi’s story back to its origins – it’s about a lump of magic wood being carved into a talking puppet by poor woodcarver Gepetto, and then the puppet setting out on a string of adventures all the while wishing he could make the next fantastical leap and become a real boy. There is no shortage of competition, from a 1911 silent version, through the Disney’s 1940 version to countless others, like the 1957 one starring Mickey Rooney or the 2002 one directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, … Read more

4 November 2013-11-04

James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride in This Is the End

 Out in the UK This Week This Is the End (Sony, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Armageddon, aka The Rapture, arrives at a big Hollywood party thrown by James Franco in an in-jokey comedy whose USP is that everyone involved plays a version of themselves. The big names are Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and James Franco (natch), with Jay Baruchel as our entry point, playing the sort of Jay Baruchel who is slightly intimidated by the bigger stars. Cameos are the big thing there – Rihanna pops in for a minute, Michael Cera has fun with his image as a total dude being fellated and rimmed simultaneously by a pair of babes while doing a … Read more

9 March 2009-03-09

Walt Disney's Pinocchio

Out in the UK this week Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition (Disney, cert U) From the days when the voice cast went uncredited, Walt Disney’s 1940 follow-up to Snow White gave us the Oscar-winning song When You Wish Upon a Star, a wooden boy with a Freudian nose and one of the studio’s darkest and finest animations. Pinocchio – at Amazon The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Disney, cert 12) The Holocaust through the eyes of a nice German lad (Asa Butterfield) whose dad just happens to be a death camp commandant. The everyday normality of the death camps and the mix of the sentimental, the melodramatic and the brutally direct often jars … Read more