Ty Burr
August 02, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Adventures of Pinocchio

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
G
runtime
96 minutes
performer
Martin Landau, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Bebe Neuwirth, Rob Schneider
director
Steve Barron
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Kids and Family

We gave it a C

According to the production notes, ”Pinocchio’s name has become synonymous with…goody two-shoes wholesomeness.” Take that, Uncle Walt. This live-action version of The Adventures of Pinocchio tries to bring back the Grimm-er vision of Carlo Collodi’s 19th-century tale, and at first it succeeds. Martin Landau’s Geppetto is no kindly papa figure but a touching lost soul, and his relationship with his woodboy — a remarkable creation of the Henson Creature Shop with Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ voice — gives this Pinocchio a beating heart that the Disney cartoon never had. The rest, unfortunately, is an international coproduction mongrel, with dueling accents, cramped sets, and two dreadful pop songs from Queen’s Brian May that bring the movie thisclose to turning into a donkey. C

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