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Geppetto
IMDB Rating: 5.5/10 from votes
Release: 7 May 2000 (USA) /

Geppetto

Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Director: Carlo Collodi,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: The lonely woodcarver Geppetto gets his wish for a child of his own granted when the Blue Fairy brings one of his marionettes to life; however, being a parent is not as easy as he had expected.

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Critic Reviews


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 "Geppetto."

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.

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