The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996) Poster

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Nicely Done Version Of Pinocchio
ccthemovieman-129 March 2006
This is one of the better "family films" that adults would still enjoy, and I don' mean to use that as a cliché. Suffice to say it's a fast-moving story, is creatively done and looks super on DVD. This was a stunner, visually-speaking.

The creativity - especially for a film 10 years old - involves the wonderful special-effects that make the famous wooden puppet so lifelike. I haven't seen it in eight or nine years but when this came out first on VHS I remember being shocked at the visuals and how real things looked.

This is not an animated film, and the story is a bit different from other versions. How faithful this is to the original story, I cannot tell you, because I never was a big fan of the story. I can tell you, however, that Martin Landau is very good playing Pinochhio's creator "Geppetto."

I found it interesting that the cricket in this story was called "Pepe," not Jiminy Cricket. At any rate, this is a nicely-done version of the famous kids' story.
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An underrated film
Soledad-23 February 2000
It's hard for me to believe this movie had received such a low rating when it deserves wonderful reviews. Adventures of Pinocchio is a true gem, so perfect, so unique, that it can only be defined as a work of art. You don't have to believe me, just rent it today. I have watched this movie several times and is one of my favorite movies of all times.
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No strings attached
lwjoslin24 October 2003
This is a lavish, sumptuously-mounted version of the classic story. Great costumes and location work, with Prague as 18th-century Italy. Top-notch FX: Pinocchio himself; Pepe (not Jiminy) Cricket; a hUge, whale-like sea monster; boys morphing into jackasses.

Good cast: Martin Landau (fresh from his Oscar-winning portrayal of Lugosi in "Ed Wood") as Gepetto; Genevieve Bujold, whom I hadn't seen in ages (and who is aging very nicely), as his long-term love interest; Udo Kier as the heavy; plus an assortment of other character actors mostly unknown to me.

Altogether well-done, its only drawbacks being a couple of lame songs, plus occasional slapstick for the kiddies. And it must be admitted, the Diz cartoon is a tough act to follow.
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Good movie, but target audience seems unclear.
deepspace9330 May 2000
This is certainly a well done movie, with an all-star cast. However, the intended target audience of this film is unclear. While little kids, who know of Pinocchio from story books and the Disney Animated Classic, are sure to enjoy the outstanding animation of the puppet, will most likely be frightened by many of the other scenes. Older kids, teenagers, and many adults often consider themselves too old for the story of Pinocchio; with a few exceptions.

There's also a couple other scenes in the film which make it objectionable for younger children. One scene makes repeated use of the word "jack-a**"; while referring to donkeys, as in the original story, the word seems a little over used for a film that has a "G" rating in Canada (not sure of the US rating). Another objectionable scene is at the end when "real boy" Pinocchio, tells a lie to two of the films villains, knowing that his nose won't grow anymore. To me this counter-acts the lesson to be learned by having his nose grow when he lies in the first place.

Over all the film is still really well done, and very touching (provoking tear-ducts in places). The acting is excellent and the direction seems good. The script on the whole seems good, apart from the few objectionable scenes, which make me wonder what the film's target audience is meant to be; as opposed the recent Disney musical version, titled "Geppetto", which was definitely family-oriented.
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Beautifully done, but I do prefer the Disney film.
TheLittleSongbird15 May 2009
Don't get me wrong, I really like this movie. The star is Pinnocchio himself, with a very likable voice over by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, with very careful design by Angus Bickerton. Also superb is Martin Landau as Geopetto, who brought charm and sadness to the role. The only things that weren't so well done were Jiminy Cricket, though David Doyle voiced him with spirit,(it's just his character animation was a bit mechanical) and Udo Keir's villain did little for me, but that is just me being picky. The film is lavishly designed, especially with the scenes with the puppets with the sets that look like something out of an opera or vaudeville. Also Rachel Portman's score was beautiful, very dynamic and sometimes moving in the more slower bits. Comparing this to the Disney film, this is a lot more faithful to the book by Carlo Callodi, but the Disney film has charm and a certain darkness that isn't quite there here, but it is evident. All in all, a highly underrated and beautiful film. 7/10 Bethany Cox.
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Had it been made in Hollywood, it would have circled the world
3DSpecs16 May 2008
Had this version of Pinnochio been made by a major Hollywood studio we would have had adverts on TV, all the major cinemas would have run it for weeks and we would never have heard the end of it. I saw this premiered at the Edinburgh Festival where the running time was listed as 180 minutes (so far as I can recall) and I thought we were half way through when in fact there were just 15 minutes to go. After the premier, it vanished from sight and I never heard nor saw any sign of it again. What a terrible waste. The film deserves better. My only disappointment was when the puppet turned into a chubby little boy but, after the excellent blending of animation with live action, this was a minor niggle. I found the film entertaining on several levels and strongly recommend it to film clubs and people with large screens - I suspect this is a film that does not work nearly so well on an average television set - a full-sized cinema or large Home Cinema system with surround sound is what it needs to do it justice.
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Shut up people. THIS is the Pinocchio movie.
killb-9412 September 2011
I really hate the Disney movie of Pinocchio. Why? Because it totally destroys the real Pinocchio's image. Pinocchio isn't a such kid-friendly story in his original BOOK (yes, it is a book, not a fairy tale) written by Carlo Collodi. It was a story for everyone yes, but it was also pretty dark and edgy too!

That's why I absolutely love this movie (and hate to the death that awful sequel). I know, like the Disney one, it doesn't follow perfectly the plot of the book, but the big difference is that it actually have MORE things from the book than the Disney one. Also, the book has a pretty long story with lots of things that are difficult to put in a hour and half movie (Roberto Begnigni tried to do that, and we all know that the result was horrible). The classic special effects without CGI are amazing and the acting is great. The style of the movie reminds me a little Terry Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" (1988). This movie is really magic to me and it has all the atmosphere and style of the original book. If only people read more Collodi's book (wich is amazing) and watch less the Disney movie, everybody would agree with me.

This is by far my favorite Pinocchio movie, and one of my favorite movies of all time.
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Sumptuous, wonderful, wildly underrated version of the story
NateWatchesCoolMovies8 August 2015
Few people know about the extravagant, gorgeous 90's live action The Adventures Of Pinocchio. It's wonderful. Pinocchio and various other wonders in the film are designed by Jim Henson's creature shop, to startling effect. It's a dazzling, eye boggling version that for me even tops Disney's crack at it. Martin Landau plays Geppetto with humble charm and aching paternal kindness. Home Improvement's Jonathan Taylor Thomas voices The wooden puppet with staccato, confused word associations, until his interacting with the world around him teaches him how to speak properly. Bebe Neurith and Rob Schneider of all people, are sleazy and dim witted as real people versions of the cat and the fox. Character actor Udo Kier gives the best performance of the film as the films Stromboli, or here called Lorenzini. He's an evil fire breathing monster, and he plays the role to the hilt with his mad dog glare a smooth, terrifying demeanour. The special effects are first rate, from Jiminy Cricket bouncing around, to the ginormous whale in the third act, as well as the costumes and makeup, all truly something to be proud of. The one thing this one could have done without though, is a few goofy ass songs from Stevie Wonder. Like, wtf. Other than that the score itself is a perfectly operatic old world ballad of Italian arias and catchy flute tunes. For pure atmosphere and execution alone, this is the version of the timeless tale to see. It's got a baroque grandeur and whimsical storytelling that comes from the heart, as well as plenty of imagination.
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Amazing atmosphere and effects, but for the other parts...
generaallucas22 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
So, I've watched Pinocchio. So, what do I think about it? Let's begin with the good parts. We have Prague, Český Krumlov and Croatia serving as the sets, I adored that, and it makes the movie better because of it. The music matches the tone of the scenes and gives a nice feeling to it. The puppet of Pinocchio is also a nice piece of professional craftsmanship and is properly used in the movie production. And there is Martin Landau playing as Gepetto and it is obvious he's doing a good job at it.

But then everyone with a human brain that is properly functioning and isn't here for a cheesy half-dead experience starts to think about what the movie shows them. And then this movie falls apart. The writing is bad and that is obvious. I'm not going to do a scene analysis but just going to pick the biggest sore points I saw in this movie.

For instance, we have Pepe the Cricket. I think he is supposed to be reminiscent of Jiminy Cricket in some way, but he is not helping Pinocchio really as a supporting character. I think Pinocchio just found everything he needed to know out on his own and Pepe did not really help in that. His jokes also aren't funny and he is just plain annoying. And whereas with the Disney version we clearly understood why Jiminy was doing what he was doing because the Blue Faerie asked him to do so, Pepe is just a stalker doing things for no reason or motive whatsoever.

The second problem is Pinocchio's quest to become a real boy. It is contrived and comes out of nowhere and only seems to exist ''just because all Pinocchio versions are based around that''. But here there are no promises regarding him becoming a real boy if he fulfills a certain condition (like the Blue Faerie gave him in the Disney version after he was made alive and in the book at a certain point in the story), but here it is blatant wish-fulfillment and because miracles come from the heart. Yeah, that is a great idea for writing.

The third problem is the lore of the world in general. Lore is information we learn about the universe of the story and what makes it tick. Some parts are nicely set up, like how Gepetto's emotional impact on a tree makes the magic in it alive so he could years later find it again and make a puppet out of it. And of course there is the water that turns people into animals they are mostly in common with and how Pinocchio escapes that by the holes in his body. It could've been done better but we understand why things are the way they are. However, there are major holes that a bit of rationalizing aren't going to save. This is mostly due to poor exposition. For instance: at the end of the story we learn that Lampwick was turned back into a human because he did a lot of good deeds. Wait, what? We only were told that the water turned people into animals, not how to resolve that. If we as the audience could learn about what the solution was against it, and it turned out to be good deeds, then we understood what their next plan was and how Lampwick could resolve his tiny problem. And also, if good deeds are the answer, wouldn't any hard-working donkey-kid turn back after a certain amount of time? Weird. And then there is the problem regarding the foreman turning into a monster – wait, that isn't an animal. Why not a vicious wolf or bear or any other animal that can fit his metaphor?

The fourth problem are Volpe and Felinet (get it? Fox and Feline. Yeah, great satire here.) Whereas in the book they were brilliant and deceitful, and in the Disney movie they had a clear motive to what they were doing, they're suffering here from the same problem as Pepe; what are they doing anyways? I understood the part with Lorenzini because of the money and all that, but afterwards they don't really seem to have a purpose except for staying on screen and annoying everybody. O, yes, they're supposed to bring him back to Lorenzini but they're not trying to do that. Strange.

And my last big problem is the teacher. If I were a teacher back then, I would have noticed that there is a boy in my class that isn't a student of mine, and, o yeah, is A WOODEN PUPPET. He does never question it but only remarks the nose, like he had more wooden puppets before as students. Great.

Anyway, for those who were TL; DR: the atmosphere is good, the acting is decent but the story falls flat on its wooden face. And stories are kind of important.
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Not in the same depth as the Disney version, but it's apparently more faithful to the original story
Several years ago, Disney released their second animated feature length film Pinocchio in 1940, based on a book by Carlo Collodi and was considered as one of their most darkest films ever made before The Black Cauldron (which became a failure for Disney in 1985). It was also well-received by critics and people all over the world as one of the best films that touched their hearts since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Years later, New Line Cinema made their own adaptation of the story and it got seriously panned by critics while resulting in bombing at the box office, but some people actually liked it and I'm one of those people. Sadly, I never read the book, but I'm planning to someday.

I used to like this as a kid, but as a young adult, this isn't in the same depth as the Disney version. It's pacing is pretty slow at times, but the stiff character animation of Jiminy Cricket and the underused villain are even bigger flaws than the pacing. Flaws aside, this is a pretty good adaptation. In fact, it's actually more faithful to the book compared to the Disney version. Don't get me wrong. Their version had charm and darkness that wasn't presented here, but this version has some elements from the book. With that said, there are some good aspects that made this worth-watching.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas' voice over for Pinocchio made him likable as did Martin Landau who brought sadness to his role as Gepetto. David Doyle did great as Jiminy Cricket despite it's stiff character animation and Rob Schneider and Bebe Neuwirth did very decent Volpe and Felinet. Udo Kier, although underused, did great as the villain Lorenzini. The cast isn't the only strongest aspect, however. The mixture of animation and live-action with the help of the Muppet creator, Jim Henson, captures the spirit of the book perfectly well and the CGI effects on Pinocchio is creative to look at you can feel like thanking the company for doing such a fine job. The visuals are magnificent and the cinematography is imaginative. Rachel Portman's music is dynamic and fitted quite well with the movie's slow moments and the pop songs, although not the greatest, are at least worth-listening to.

The Adventures of Pinocchio may not be the kind of family movie you've expected it to be, but due to it's faithfulness to the story with a likable cast, fantastic visuals, and solid CGI effects, this is a worth-watchable film to not only fans of the book, but to families young and old.
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Interesting portrayal of the old fable.
TxMike1 November 2002
Saw it on DVD, pretty good transfer from film. I can't give it a very high rating as a film, it was a bit muddled at times in exactly what it was trying to convey. But the wooden puppet looked very life-like, his "education" was handled very well, and in the end the message of where life really comes from is very clear. My favorite part, however, was listening to Stevie Wonder sing the songs he wrote for the film.

I bought the DVD to give to my grandchildren, 7 and 10. It will be interesting to see how they react to it.
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The Adventures of Pinocchio
jboothmillard13 September 2005
If you have seen the original Disney cartoon based on an Italian story about a wooden puppet who becomes a real boy, then you'll probably know the story already. This is basically the same story again but just a few special effects and a few extra things. Martin Landau as Geppetto is quite a nice guy, although you don't exactly see him a lot. The kid who plays Pinocchio is just weird and idiotic, I mean first he doesn't know what's going on, and then suddenly he has ideas of his own about things. Also starring Dawn French as Baker's wife, Griff Rhys Jones as Tino and David Doyle as the voice of Pepe the Cricket, what was wrong with the name Jiminey. Aqequate, although it is okay for kids!
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Liked him better as a flute
pkzeewiz9 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
So a man loves a woman and she loves the mans brother, he is hurt by this but will forever love her and even carved their initials in a tree. Many years later this hopeless romantic has grown old and now carves dummy puppets out of trees to keep him company. He carves a boy out of this log which bared his initialed heart and has no idea the tree was magical. The dummy he carves comes to life and starts causing innocent trouble all over town. The old man loves the boy, but he cant control it. There is a man in town who does puppet shows and wants this amazing puppet for his act and blackmails the old man to get it. The puppet runs away and soon finds the evil theater man is turning young boys into donkeys, and he almost gets turned himself in his quest to become a real boy. He has a cricket companion named Pepe and Pepe tries to teach the boy what real love is and convinces him that his creator is the one person who loves him, real or not. He goes off to find the old man and even more adventures occur as they are swallowed into the belly of a whale. Soon Pinnochios flaws help them escape and a lesson is learned and eventually the love between these two make Pinocchip a real boy.

I have actually never seen any version of this film before to my knowledge. It is possible that I have watched the cartoon, but forgotten. This movie was way too cheesy for me. I hated the cheesy music, I thought the villain was not mean enough. I didn't like the C.G.I. cricket and thought that was a bit too much. The effects looked bad and I just wasn't impressed. I like Martin Landou and he's about all I tolerated. I don't like Jonathan Taylor Thomas and hate Rob Schneider so casting was bad.

Maybe kids would like it, but I just thought it was boring, not colorful or exciting and way too sappy and slow. 2/10 stars
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A seemingly rushed and somewhat annoying version of the story
Electrified_Voltage1 August 2010
I remember back around the time this 1996 version of "Pinocchio" was released (not sure whether it was around the time of its theatrical release or its home video release). I saw the promotional image of a wooden Pinocchio looking at a real version of himself like a reflection in the water, and later saw a trailer for this adaptation of Carlo Collodi's story on TV. Even though I was very familiar with the classic 1940 Disney version, I never actually saw this movie when it was new, not that I was missing much. Well over a decade later, I finally saw it just last night. By this point, I knew it wasn't a very popular film, so my expectations weren't very high, and it's a good thing they weren't, since I found "The Adventures of Pinocchio" to be below average!

Pinocchio is a wooden puppet carved by a woodcutter and puppet maker named Geppetto. Soon after he finishes making this puppet figure of a boy, it magically comes to life! Even though Pinocchio is still wooden, he can now move and talk, but doesn't know much about the world around him. He wants to be a real boy, but has a lot to learn before that can happen. While walking out with Geppetto, he meets some schoolchildren and wants to go to school himself. He also catches the attention of two criminals named Felinet and Volpe, and is soon wanted by the evil Lorenzini! At school, Pinocchio punches a classmate and lies to the teacher about it, causing his nose to grow longer with each lie, and after he finally confesses, he is kicked out of class. He then goes to a bakery, where he causes chaos, and for this, he and Geppetto are both taken to court! They will both be sent to prison unless Gepetto can pay for the damages, which he can't, so Lorenzini offers to pay, but only if Pinocchio is given to him. Eventually, Geppetto reluctantly gives in and Lorenzini gets the puppet, but it turns out Pinocchio is not safe with him! The living wooden puppet finds himself on an adventure full of danger, with a wise cricket named Pepe often appearing to give him advice!

This film adaptation begins with a poor opening narration from David Doyle, which turns out to be the voice of Pepe the Cricket. This character is supposed to be funny, but he fails. The same goes for the rest of the film's humour in general, in scenes such as the havoc Pinocchio wreaks in the bakery. It's not funny when it tries to be. Also, it seems Felinet and Volpe are supposed to be funny, but they also fail miserably, unlike Honest John and Gideon in the 1940 version. Some of the characters in this 1996 version may get a little annoying at times, including the title one, and I think this is when they're trying to be funny. The poor humour isn't the only problem here. "The Adventures of Pinocchio" seems rushed, going too fast and seeming to just throw in characters without taking enough time to introduce them, making them seem very insignificant. Geppetto certainly doesn't seem very surprised when he sees Pinocchio alive for the first time. The lack of focus even makes the story seem almost meaningless, even though it does include the morals of the story, but in a very ineffective manner! The film fails both at trying to be funny AND trying to be touching, except maybe near the end. I also didn't care for the design of the wooden Pinocchio's face and his facial expressions.

I have never read the 19th century book, "The Adventures of Pinocchio", by Carlo Collodi, but have been familiar with the animated 1940 Disney flick from a very early age, so it's obviously hard for me not to compare these two films. I can't forget the times I saw the 1940 version as a kid, and I still thought that film was great when I watched it again a couple times in 2007, my first viewings of the classic piece of Disney animation since my childhood in the 90's. It has excitement, poignancy, and some good humour, and all this is more than I can say about the 1996 version. This movie does have some nice visuals, but that's the only positive thing I can think of to say about it, and that's certainly not enough to make it worthwhile. Some movies can improve with a second viewing, but I can't imagine how I could ever warm up to this mess of a live action adaptation of Collodi's story, so I don't intend to watch it again. If the screenplay had been better written, it could have made a really good family movie, but due to its poor quality and lack of focus, the film's results were disappointing.
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Slow Start, Gets Better
RestlessRust6 August 2002
For the first half hour of this movie, I felt I had completely wasted my money. It's so kid-friendly it's almost unbearable. But somewhere along the line, as the wooden puppet begins to discover more about life, the movie begins to figure things out, as well. Ultimately, the movie redeems itself, but I still don't know that I can recommend it. It's not a film to be avoided, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it.
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This version is flawed and that's no lie
soranno20 October 2002
The world famous fairy tale, "Pinocchio" is a story that is better suited for animation formats when it comes to film adaptations. This 1996 New Line Cinema version makes its first mistake by casting "Home Improvement" costar Jonathan Taylor Thomas in the title role and it makes more mistakes by not entirely sticking to the true storyline much of the time. However, Martin Landau makes a believable Gepetto and his performance prevents this film from being a complete waste of time.
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Mostly good
captaincrouton25 May 2003
I bought the DVD at Walmart because it looked okay, and was less than 6 bucks. Somehow the movie lost me when the cricket said they should bottle the pine scent. At that point it seemed to have a different writer. But the worst of all is the out of place Stevie Wonder songs. When I heard him sing I thought, "What is THAT noise? Who screwed up the sound track?"

Nonetheless, the wooden puppet is great and I particularly like the way they handled Pinocchio's origin (the tree carving) and the water transforming device. They were welcomed twists that gave the classic story some freshness.
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A Big Lie Told Here.
anaconda-4065811 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996): Dir: Steve Barron / Cast: Martin Landau, Jonathon Taylor Thomas, Rob Schneider, Bebe Neuwirth, Udo Kier: A bad film with great production values where filmmakers went on an adventure and created a film unfit for children. Lackluster live version of Disney classic with Martin Landau as Gepetto who carves a wooden puppet out of a tree. He is surprised when his wooden puppet comes to life but perhaps he should check his alcohol level. Pinocchio's nose grows when he tells a lie and he gets schemed into a circus where all of the boys are turned into donkeys. One wonders if Steve Barron's nose grew when he directed the film. He certainly didn't follow the classic tale to total degree. Jiminy Cricket is replaced by some other insect, which is not explained and certainly not accepted. Landau makes for a fine Gepetto whose dream of fatherhood becomes a reality. Jonathan Taylor Thomas voices the wooden puppet with appeal and appears briefly as the real Pinocchio. Rob Schneider and Bebe Neuwirth play two pathetic villains in what can only be described as a bad joke on them. Udo Kier plays a character named Lorenzini who is apparently a new character, as if this version wasn't screwed up enough as it is. Pointless live version isn't totally faithful to the classic but the visual attempt is there. Perhaps the script should substitute as fire wood. Score: 2 / 10
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Walt Disney did a better job
cjteninty17 February 2003
I saw this movie with my kids, and frankly, they could not stay focused on it. The movie jumped around a lot. I tended to get lost. I did however, like Rob Schneider, I felt he did a pretty good job. All in all my summary is if you have seen the Walt Disney version, DON'T see this one! The animated version is much more better. Although they did it 90's style, for instance in the Disney version the boys going to the island smoked cigars; this version, they drank the water and you know the rest.
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