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The Disney Company has rediscovered the magic of the live action musical (a
magic that seemingly vanished toward the end of the 60s); although, it
might have considered the wide screen a better source for the release of
In simple terms, this is a motion picture-sized musical extravaganza for the small screen that depicts the tale of "Pinocchio" from the eyes of his "father" Geppetto. Starting with his "son's" creation, Geppetto quickly learns that children are not perfect; what he fails to understand is that such imperfections may be derived from the parent. Subsequently, when Pinocchio runs away with the evil gold-loving Stromboli and then to Pleasure Island, Geppetto requires lessons in parenthood and of the heart and inner soul. In hilarious fashion, the Blue Fairy assists Geppetto on his journey to eventually find both understanding and Pinocchio.
Drew Carey is surprisingly strong in a title role that relies more on emotion than one-liners. Brent Spiner's Stromboli is evil personified, although in a comical light that should not leave the kiddies afraid to go to sleep in the dark. Julia Louis-Dreyfus initially appears over-animated as the Blue Fairy. We discover later how this plays into her role when she displays her magic powers to Carey in a series of hilarious dance sequences. Usher is ever-so-sly as the singing Ring Leader in Pleasure Island. Seth Adkins is the penultimate Pinocchio, reminiscent of the 1940s animated version. His extensive makeup leads one to believe that this talented boy is genuinely made of wood.
The rest of the cast play their roles with abundant energy and warm-hearted feeling that transmits beyond the screen and directly into the hearts and minds of the audience. These feelings are intensified by Stephen Schwartz's highly enjoyable musical score and songs, with no less than two showstoppers: in "Toys" three tracks sung by the parents, children and Geppetto run simultaneously yet we clearly understand each one. "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sung by Rene Auberjonois and a chorus of golden-voiced youngsters adds exuberant, vibrant energy to an active and complex choreographed sequence; the townspeople and their "perfect" children create a visual delight with their routine.
Equally incredible is the scenery in the Pleasure Island sequence, a colorful, attractive yet eerie amusement park of sorts where Pinocchio connects with the "bad" children of the world. Particularly funny are the run-ins that Stromboli has with the Pleasure Island children as he races against Geppetto to find and catch Pinocchio before he can suffer the fate of all Pleasure Island kids.
Monstro fans, take heart. The giant whale makes a cameo appearance. Kids especially will laugh at Pinocchio's idea to hopefully save Geppetto and himself from that mighty stomach.
Finally, the live action musical extravaganza has come back to the screen, albeit a smaller screen than for major musicals of the past. Before viewing "Geppetto," one may wish to watch the original Disney animated version of "Pinocchio" to become familiar with the story and characters. Consider that an optional homework assignment, not a necessity as this film can and will stand on its own for future generations of families.
This movie reminds me of the classic musicals of the 50's. I LOVED IT. The
cast was excelent... Drew Cary did an outstanding job (and boy did he sound
better singing in this than he does on who's line is it anyways LOL). Julia
Dreyfus also was terrific as the Blue Fairy. Their dance numbers together
are pure magic. The rest of the cast was also truly excelent.
My only problem with this movie is that it was made for TV. Due to time constrictions they rushed the ending. They could of stretched it out in to a 2 day mini series or somthing... But other than that it was great. Disney has been quite the disapointment to me latly with movies like Inspector Gadget and Tarzan... They were horible comparedf to this The musical score was also great. With Dreamworks one step behind Disney needs more movie like this to keep up and notr fall behing.
I give it 99 out of 10...
I have to say that I really enjoyed this movie, and thought it was much better than the Jonathan Taylor Thomas version. While the JTT one had better special FX, this one had much better direction and script-writing. Also the fact that it was a musical made it all that much more enjoyable. Brent Spiner (Star Trek TNG's Data) was wonderful as Stromboli. And Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek DS9's Odo) was magnificent as Buonragazzo. I highly recommend this film, and will probably buy it on video.
I love to watch this film often. I especially like Seth Adkins' parts.
He is my very favorite young actor and I hope he goes far in his acting
career. I am one of his fans and I am always posting message of his
Message Board. He did a real good job in GEPPETTO. I liked the part
where he sang and danced with Drew Cary and in the part where he sang
and dance to that song. I can't quote the words. but he told me that
his mom and dad set up a stage for him to practice on and Seth
practiced all his lines on GEPPETTO and would go through the acts he
had to do for the film. I like Seth smile on GEPPETTO and that laugh he
does is unique and shows he loves what he is doing. Seth's most
outstanding performance was in TAMING ANDREW OR WHEN ANDEW CAME HOME. I
have that film too and watch it often. There is a real Andrew and Seth
studied this kid's case and learned all he could about the real Andrew
so he could act in the film and Seth did a great job in that film. I
think everybody should watch it and see for themselves what an
outstanding young actor Seth Adkins is. Watch him smile in all of his
films and hear that laugh that he is so noted for. I know Seth will be
go far in his acting career.
Here is a quote from GEPPETTO and it goes like this:
GEPPETTO says to Pinnochio "Your the best son a father could ever have" And Pinnochio says. "Even though I am made from wood" and then Geppetto says "It is not what you are made of on the outside, but it is what you made on the inside that counts."
What's wrong with "Geppetto ?" I may be blindly faithful as a Drew Carey fan, but this is his best dramatic talent and first family film that I know of, but I think he does a great job. His singing may not be Madonna, but would you want your kids watching "The Drew Carey Show" with its humor on sex, drinking and abuse in the workplace. Julia Louise Dreyfuss also shines in this as a cross between Glinda the Good Witch and Tinkerbell. Rene Auberjonais plays an eccentric inventor blind to Drew's true wishes, and Brent Spiner plays the human version of the animals in the cartoon who kidnapped Pinocchio. Drew's buddy, Wayne Brady, makes a cameo, but a lot of gumption has to got to the young actor ( I forget his name ) who had to endure all that body make-up. He should have a fairly successful career ahead of him or at least a supporting role on Drew's TV show.I don't know about you, but this movie counts in my list of top children's movies along with "Mary Poppins," "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," and "The Wizard of Oz."
I don't care what anyone says,I like this movie.It shows a side to the Pinocchio story I never once considered. Drew Carey is funny,Julia Louis-Dreyfuss is radiant [this role has to be a little embarrassing to her,but I love the glimpses through her dress ] and the cameos are intriguing.Rene Auberjonais,Brent Spiner and Drew's buddy Wayne Brady from "Whose Line Is It, Anyway" fill out the wonderfully magically cast.The film is worth a see just for the inside of the whale. It just goes to prove that movie critics don't know anything.
This is a great movie musical made for television. I don't understand how
one guy on here says it was such an awful score, I think it's the best
original musical score in years and this should be on the Broadway stage.
Steven Schwartz is in top form with this one, a 10 star job on this music.
Songs such as TOYS, SATISFACTION GUARANTEED and PLEASURE ISLAND are
showstoppers, all of them. Two beautiful melodies fill MY EMPTY HEART and
SINCE YOU TOOK MY HEART AWAY. The blue fairy also has an excellent melody
used several times throughout. Drew and the rest of the cast are quite good,
I was impressed at Drew's performance. No, it's not Emmy winning but this
role was not meant to be heavily acted. My only complaint is how the end is
a little rushed especially the whale sequence, that was the only part of the
film that looked cheap to me, the 5 minutes of expelling from the
I recommend this to all families, it's rare to see this kind of entertainment as brand new, not a musical remake. I only wish Disney would wise up and put out a dvd, there never was one, it was scheduled and never released...Amazon says out of print but I have confirmed with Disney they have not and do not have any plans to issue it, can't imagine why. IGNORE THE LOW IMDB RATING....read the reviews, they say it all...not sure why it was such a low number.
If you can get past seeing and hearing Drew Carey in a serious role, a
sickly sweet British accent used by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and a horrible
makeup job on Pinocchio, this a a fun movie for the older crowd that
remembers Pinocchio. Younger kids will like the film for the songs and
dance numbers. You might say that this is a prequel to the Wicked genre
- a familiar tale told from an alternate point of view. You'll find
bits of sharp with below the surface at times, and they'll smack you in
the face with it at other times.
Once you get past the negatives, this is - as other reviewers have mentioned - a return of the old style musical. The rest of the cast is fantastic, with engaging performances from practically all the supporting roles. While I'll admit the music can be pretty sugary, the big production numbers lots of fun, and Geppetto's ballads very lyrical. There's no Defying Gravity in this libretto, but there are a couple of tunes you might catch yourself humming (Toys, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Pleasure Island).
I'm torn between a 6 and a 7 for this film. I think, as a traditional silver-screen musical, it works well enough to be a keeper. I happen to like Drew Carey (though not in this role) so I'm going to round my score up. I think with a better effect budget (or simply better executed effects) and two new leads, this could be a solid 8-9.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
i just love this movie. i must have seen it over fifty times by now. i
can't stop watching. it's so pleasing and congenial and so Disney. it's
a return to 'Disney' live-action musicals like 'Mary Poppins', 'Pete's
Dragon', 'One and Only Genuine Original Family Band', 'Happiest
Millionaire',etc. i always love 'Disney' musicals and this is one of
the detractors of this have been so unfair. isn't it funny how this was written before Stephen Schwartz's 'Wicked' became a big Broadway hit. this show preceded 'Wicked' by a few years. many critics who skewered 'Geppetto' should have to rethink their position. how could anyone skewer a musical by Stephen Schwartz? i mean he wrote 'Godspell' and so many other musical theater classics. 'Gepetto' deserves more serious consideration than it has been given in the past.
the cast is excellent. of course Drew Carey's beautifully sensitive performance as the lead role is the focal point, but the rest of the cast, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Brent Spiner, Rene Auberjonois, and Usher Raymond are all absolutely perfect and incredibly entertaining.
i've always loved Walt Disney films and this one stands out for me. and yes, i have seen the original 'Pinocchio' cartoon which happens to be my favorite of the animated classics. i have also read Collodi's book. as someone who is very familiar with "little woodenhead" i found this version to be charming,hilarious, musical, and above all pure 'Disney' magic. after all, it did premiere on the 'Wonderful World of Disney'. that's where i first saw it and fell in love with it. God Bless Drew Carey and the rest of the wonderful Disney cast.
Geppetto is a wonderful surprise from Disney. Drew Carey does a surprisingly good job as the title character and in all the musical numbers. Rene Auberjonois and Bret Spiner are particularly enjoyable in their roles. Of course, everyone who has seen the animated feature, Pinocchio, knows the story. And unlike some remakes, Geppetto sticks closely to the original story. This is a must see.
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