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"THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO"
(1996) (Martin Landau, Jonathan Taylor Thomas) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Mild Minor Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Minor Minor Mild


QUICK TAKE:
A wooden puppet comes to life and longs to become a real boy.
PLOT:
Geppetto (MARTIN LANDAU) is a lonely, but seemingly happy puppet maker. His newest puppet, Pinocchio, is special to him for it was carved from a tree where years earlier he had carved his love for Leona (GENEVIEVE BUJOLD). The magic of that moment transferred to the puppet who now comes to life. Pinocchio (voice of, and later in person, JONATHAN TAYLOR THOMAS) is curious about this new world he finds himself in and begins exploring it. This draws the attention of local aristocrat Lorenzini (UDO KIER) and his two helpers Felinet (BEBE NEUWIRTH) and Volpe (ROB SCHNEIDER). They want the special puppet to draw young boys into their fold where Lorenzini has evil plans for them (turning them into donkeys to sell at the market). Along the way, Pinocchio realizes that he wants to be a real boy and he gets help pursuing his dream from Pepe (DAVID DOYLE), a wise and influential cricket. From then, on as he pursues his goal, Pinocchio discovers and tries to stop Lorenzini's evil plans.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids will (obviously thinking about Disney's animated version of the story).
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
For not containing material to warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MARTIN LANDAU plays the gentle, caring puppet maker who has no bad traits.
  • JONATHAN TAYLOR THOMAS is the voice of, and at the end, the real life version of Pinocchio. While some of his behavior might be considered questionable, he is essentially a new born and is learning about the world and testing the waters.
  • BEBE NEUWIRTH and ROB SCHNEIDER plays two conniving, greedy characters who are bad role models.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10
    This is an enjoyable film for both kids and their parents. While it doesn't contain the comic relief or fun musical numbers that Disney animated films do (that many kids probably think will be present), it should still entertain the youngsters. Landau gives a good performance as the gentle, but lonely Geppetto and the animation and effects from the Jim Henson Group (The Muppets, etc...) blend in rather well with the live action. While this probably won't draw many people without children, it will prove to be an okay diversion for adults who arrive with their kids. We give it a 6 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There's nearly nothing objectionable here and there are only a few scenes that might be a little scary to the youngest of viewers. It's a good film for kids and teaches many positive messages such as the importance of love and facing one's problems. It's the least objectionable film of the year so far for kids.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Lorenzini drinks champagne during a puppet performance.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • Geppetto and Pinocchio make their way back up through a sea monster's throat (they've been swallowed) that is all red, slimy and gooey looking inside.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some local boys upset Geppetto's wood cart on purpose.
  • Some school boys pick on Pinocchio on his first day in class. One of them kicks Pinocchio in the leg and another punches him (causing Pinocchio to do the same back to them).
  • Pinocchio lies about punching a schoolboy and knocking him to the floor. And of course his nose grows as he continues to lie. But he later apologizes for lying.
  • A local baker claims that she lied about the weight of a cake (sold by the pound) that she sold to a local magistrate.
  • Volpe and Felinet steal money from a church's contribution bowl.
  • Volpe and Felinet tell Pinocchio that if he buries his money in the "field of miracles" and then waits an hour, his miracle will come true. Of course, they just go and dig up his money while he waits the hour.
  • A bunch of kids bring Pinocchio to an amusement park where the big rule is: "There are no rules." Once the kids learn this, they knock down a bunch of signs sporting rules, they throw rocks through windows breaking the glass, they tear pages from school books, and they tear the stuffing from pillows.
  • The kids place crickets onto the top of rockets which they then launch into the sky.
  • Lorenzini wants to skin one of the jackasses for a pair of boots (and of course we later learn that all of the donkeys are former boys).
  • Pinocchio says "I hate you," "I wish I never found you," and other such comments to Geppetto in order to get his nose to grow to allow them to escape from the belly of the sea monster (So, although he says such things, and he's lying, he does so to save them).
  • Pinocchio lies to Felinet and Volpe about going to the amusement park area and finding gold (he tells them this so that they'll be transformed into animals).
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • There is a puppet performance that has a few scenes that may be scary to the youngest of viewers. A puppet giant walks (and growls) among the normal puppets and Pinocchio stabs him in the foot to kill him. Later, a sea monster appears and breathes flames at several tied up puppets. Pinocchio saves them, but in doing so, causes a puppeteer to fall to the floor which knocks the sea monster's flames onto the stage and catches the building on fire. Everyone's okay, but there is some chaos inside as everyone flees the flames. There is no scary music during the fire.
  • During a roller coaster-like ride through some mining tunnels, three boys begin to turn into donkeys and their transformation in the dimly lit tunnels may be scary to the youngest of kids.
  • A sea monster (the transformed Lorenzini) swims under Pinocchio's boat and then surfaces and swallows Pinocchio, boat and all. The sea monster might be scary to kids, due to it's large teeth and huge size.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles: The boys shoot them at targets at the amusement park. Two boys then wrestle over a gun and it's accidentally fired, blowing several small holes through Pinocchio.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Put a sock in it," "Shut up," and "I hate you."
  • Pinocchio jumps from a rooftop trying to imitate a bird he saw fly away.
  • A bunch of kids bring Pinocchio to an amusement park where the big rule is: There are no rules. Once the kids learn this, they knock down a bunch of signs sporting rules, they throw rocks through windows breaking the glass, they tear pages from school books, and they tear the stuffing from pillows.
  • The kids place crickets onto the tops of rockets which they then launch into the sky.
  • Two boys struggle over a rifle and in doing so, accidentally fire the weapon which shoots several holes through Pinocchio. Of course he's fine (since he's a wooden puppet), but kids might get the wrong idea of being okay if you're shot.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A few scenes have music that might be scary to very young kids.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Lorenzini offers to pay Geppetto court fines (for the damaged bakery) if he can keep Pinocchio. Geppetto must say good-bye to Pinocchio as Lorenzini becomes Pinocchio's new father.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether puppets are real or can come to life.
  • Whether boys can be transformed into donkeys by drinking water (that's how it happens here).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Geppetto worries about what others will do if they see his wireless puppet. He says, "They'll burn me at the stake." A friend replies, "Oh no, they've stopped doing that. They may hang you though."
  • The father of a boy whose ball has been taken, finds Volpe holding it and punches him in the face.
  • Some school boys pick on Pinocchio on his first day in class. One of them kicks Pinocchio in the leg who then returns the kick. Another school boy then punches Pinocchio on the head and Pinocchio returns the punch, knocking the boy to the floor. Pinocchio doesn't know he's being violent, instead he's just imitating what the boys did to him.
  • The local baker chases Pinocchio through the bake shop for eating a bunch of her pastries. She chases him first with a rolling pin, and later with a bread ladle that she swings at him. There is some damage done to the inside of the bakery.
  • Pinocchio steps on Pepe thinking that he's a termite and squashes him (from then on Pepe is a cricket spirit).
  • There is a puppet performance where a puppet giant walks among the normal puppets and Pinocchio stabs him in the foot to kill him. Later, a sea monster appears and breathes flames at several tied up puppets. Pinocchio saves them, but in doing so, causes a puppeteer to fall to the floor which knocks the sea monster's flames onto the stage that catches the building on fire.
  • Threat: Lorenzini tells Volpe and Felinet, "I'll kill you if you don't bring me that puppet."
  • A woodpecker pecks Pinocchio on the head.
  • Felinet knocks Volpe on the back of the head.
  • A bunch of kids bring Pinocchio to an amusement park where the big rule is: There are no rules. Once the kids learn this, they knock down a bunch of signs sporting rules, they throw rocks through windows breaking the glass, they tear pages from school books, and they tear the stuffing from pillows.
  • Two boys struggle over a rifle and in doing so, accidentally fire the weapon which shoots several holes through Pinocchio. Of course he's fine (since he's a wooden puppet), but kids might get the wrong idea of being okay if you're shot.
  • Lorenzini grabs Pinocchio by the ears (after he's partially turned into a donkey).
  • A donkey kicks Lorenzini into the magic water and he starts to turn into a monster.
  • A sea monster (the transformed Lorenzini) swims under Pinocchio's boat and then surfaces and swallows Pinocchio, boat and all.



  • Reviewed July 26, 1996

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