As an avid Disney fan, I always watch any of their new releases regardless of whether I think it’s going to be good or bad. Unfortunately, Disney’s most recent live-action remake, Pinocchio (2022), is an uninspiring attempt at recreating the magic and wonder of the original. Even with it’s stellar cast full of A-listers like Tom Hanks, Cynthia Erivo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Luke Evans, and Keegan-Michael Key, the movie was unable to become anything more than background noise for me.

The original animated Pinocchio (1940) is one of the early classics that first helped to create the Disney magic that we all know and love today. It’s iconic “wish upon a star” theme and thoughtful storytelling are all part of the reason why the original is so memorable. Not to mention the shockingly dark and eerie creepiness behind Pinocchio’s adventure is what continues to make it such an impactful and relevant story. Sadly, all these wonderful traits are missing in this live-action remake.

Honestly, some things are just better kept as animations because not everything is so easily translatable. Pinocchio (2022) is a bit of a CGI nightmare (just what did they do with Monstro the whale?!) that fails to be anywhere near as amazing as the old animations. Jiminy Cricket looked downright terrifying the first time I laid eyes on him and Pinocchio himself was at times very awkward looking and unnatural (yes, I know he’s a wooden puppet). That’s one of the downsides to these Disney live-action films, they’re trying to add too much realism. The moment I start thinking the CGI looks wonky, all of the magic disappears.

While Disney tries to advertise these movies as “reimagined classics”, I often find the newly added scenes my least favourite parts of the film. There was nothing new in Pinocchio (2022) that felt necessary or helped to improve the overall story. In fact, one of the main reasons I didn’t enjoy this movie very much was because they changed or removed so many iconic and pivotal moments (like Pinocchio sacrificing himself or Jiminy receiving his gold badge). Altering these scenes was definitely a risky move by Disney and quite frankly, it didn’t pay off.

It’s hard to say where exactly the movie went wrong but I definitely don’t think it’s because of the cast. There wasn’t really anything wrong with the actors, in fact, I thought Hanks put on a reasonably good performance as Geppetto (he certainly looked the part!). I also felt Benjamin Ainsworth’s voice acting for the titular character was a pretty good match. Levitt’s voice performance as Jiminy Cricket was a little less than desirable for me (it didn’t sound quite right), but I think that just came down to personal preference. This is just one of those scenarios where the actors aren’t able to carry the movie though.

Pinocchio (2022) also featured a lot of songs that were completely new, but honestly, I didn’t particularly like any of them or find them catchy. Aside from Erivo’s beautifully sung rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star” (I love her voice) and Ainsworth’s Stromboli performance of “I’ve Got No Strings”, the other songs were easily forgettable. And that’s not to say the actors didn’t perform or sing them well, it’s just that they were all very…meh. In my opinion, this isn’t the type of Disney movie that needs a lot of music – even in the original there was only a couple of songs. I would’ve preferred if they just stuck to the classics.

And it seems like the recurring issue is that I keep wishing this live-action remake was more like the original. Well, if that’s the case, doesn’t that make this new movie utterly redundant and unnecessary? I’m afraid so. What Disney has repeatedly failed to do is create new and inspired remakes that are worthy of rewatching. Whenever I’m craving some Disney content, I head straight to the classics or animated films. It’s never even crossed my mind to revisit some of their live-action remakes.

In all honesty, I didn’t have high hopes for this movie as soon as I saw the trailer. And with many of my previous live-action movie experiences, this one completely missed the mark. Not only did Pinocchio (2022) fail to capture the beauty and wonder from the original film, but it also failed to be innovative and fresh. I don’t see myself wanting to rewatch this movie again. For it’s poor execution and delivery, I’m afraid I’m going to have to give Pinocchio (2022) a 3.5/10. Just stick to the original if you’re wanting to revisit this story.