By Ken Tucker
Updated November 08, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

The Adventures of Pinocchio‘s weakest link is also its biggest kid draw: As the puppet made flesh, Thomas (Home Improvement) is stiffer than the wooden Pinocchio. Fortunately, the real boy appears only near the end; before that, Landau’s wonderfully effusive Geppetto and a marvelously mobile Pinocchio puppet create just the sort of magical emotional bond you want in a retelling of this fairy tale. Director Steve Barron can’t help but invoke the most famous version of Pinocchio, the 1940 Walt Disney cartoon, but he gives his live-action-with-special-effects production its own nicely mixed atmosphere of innocence and menace that loses none of its sweep on video. Adults will also enjoy Cheers‘ Bebe Neuwirth as a grim, dim, yet subtly sexy villain. B+