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A Multi-Million Dollar Race to Adapt a Classic Children’s Tale Has Resulted in One Clear Winner

Netflix's Pinocchio
Image Source: Netflix
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A Multi-Million Dollar Race to Adapt a Classic Children’s Tale Has Resulted in One Clear Winner

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Remakes are a dime a dozen these days, but it’s fair to say that there’s an art to nailing a remake and getting it just right. Change too much and you’ll anger the staunchest of the hardcore fans. Meanwhile, change too little, and the project threatens to become a soulless carbon copy without an ounce of originality in its clone-like bones. In fact, you only have to look at a popular kids’ tale to see proof of this.

Earlier this year, Disney released its live-action retelling of Carlo Collodi’s classic novel Pinocchio. Helmed by award-winning director Robert Zemeckis, and starring Tom Hanks as the lonely wood carver, Geppetto, the production was likely a pretty expensive one (though specifics are seemingly under wraps right now). Unfortunately, the project released to a poor critical reception and a less-than-stellar reaction from general audiences around the globe. Specifically, Zemeckis’s Pinocchio holds a 27 percent Critical Rating and a 30 percent Audience Score over on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Ouch!

del Toro's Pinocchio
Image Source: Netflix

On the other side of the coin, however, we now have Netflix and Guillermo del Toro’s reimagining of the beloved source material, and the critical reception so far is… absolutely stellar. On the same site, del Toro’s Pinocchio currently holds a “perfect” 100 percent Critical Rating. Talk about a one-eighty compared to the last pic, right?

Right now, critics are thrilled by del Toro’s Pinocchio, and this is likely down to one major thing: the famous Spanish filmmaker has – much like the wooden buy at the heart of the story – breathed new life into the formula with his own narrative ideas, rather than simply re-hashing the past like the Mouse House’s recent live-action retelling did. In other words, Netflix’s upcoming animation seems to be a remake done right, with a craftsman who knows how to put his own stamp on the material in hand.

While the proof will inevitably be in the pudding (del Toro’s Pinocchio launches on Netflix in December), the signs are looking good for the Pan’s Labyrinth director’s latest fairytale offering. But how about you? Are you looking forward to del Toro’s Pinocchio, or will you be giving it a miss? Give a little whistle in the usual place down below.

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