Movie Notes: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Klara’s sick at home, so we watched Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio to keep her entertained. It’s well-made but I can’t figure out who the audience is supposed to be. It’s too dark and convoluted for kids but too preachy and primitive for adults. Klara watched it but she’s screen-deprived and would watch a soap commercial on a loop. I watched to keep her company but it was very tedious.


8 thoughts on “Movie Notes: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

  1. Haven’t seen this particular movie so I can’t comment, but kids are often into darker things than adults realize.


    1. I don’t know, the whole message is “everybody is going to die.” And at the end everybody dies. The typical Mexican death fixation. Plus, he stuck Benito Mussolini in there as a tribute to the typical liberal fixation on fascism.

      What’s really curious to me is that everybody knows we are all going to die but only Mexicans just can’t get over the realization.


        1. “too dark and convoluted for kids but too preachy and primitive for adults”

          So much… content is like that now…


          Okay that makes sense! I wouldn’t have thought about it but yeah… everything’s being aimed at teenagers (who probably aren’t even watching because they’re busy with whatever has replaced tiktok (or replaced what replaced tiktok).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Snapchat! They are on Snapchat, whatever that is.

            I liked Pinocchio (called Buratino in Russian) when I was 7, so I thought Klara would like it.

            Come to think of it, Pinocchio is yet another Soviet thing stolen from the West in addition to the list you posted yesterday that post-Soviet people consider as something authentically Russian.


              1. Del Toro completely removed the fox and the car pair (who were always my favorite characters in all versions of the story I know) and instead put in fascists and Mussolini. So I ended up explaining to my kid why they keep raising their arms.

                The movie starts with a scene where a peaceful village suffers an air strike that kills a small boy. Like I needed any more scenes of air strikes at this point in time.

                I might be forced to teach a course titled “Mexican identity” in the Fall. I’m thinking of showing this movie and telling students that’s all they need to know about Mexican identity.


          2. If it’s anything like the trends in YA literature, the market is nominally teens, but mostly aimed at adults who want something not too difficult, without graphic violence or explicit sex, that makes them feel younger.

            Can’t quite pin down whether this market is actually lower-IQ or just short-attention-span, or if it makes no practical difference. On the books side, it’s incredibly irritating, but I’m getting better at weeding them out by the flap copy. The market is flooded with cringey ripoffs of Twilight and Hunger Games. But I keep poking at it, hoping to find a worthy successor to, say, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, or Diana Wynne Jones that I might be able to share with my kids.


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