Pinocchio (2022)

image for Pinocchio (2022)

Short takes

Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 9 (scary scenes, violence)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Pinocchio (2022)
  • a review of Pinocchio (2022) completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 20 September 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 8–9 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 9 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Pinocchio (2022)
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, scary scenes and coarse language. Some flashing light sequences may affect photosensitive viewers.
Length: 111 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Lonely Gepetto (Tom Hanks) carves a wooden puppet, which he calls Pinocchio (voice of Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), and makes a secret wish upon a star before going to bed one night. As he sleeps, a fairy brings Pinocchio to life and when Gepetto awakes he finds he has a wooden boy who looks remarkably like his long lost son. Pinocchio wants nothing more than to be a real boy and to make his father proud. When he is sent to school, Pinocchio meets a couple of dishonest characters who try to convince him that the best way to make his father proud is to become famous. They know just the man who can make this happen and hope to sell Pinocchio to Stromboli (voice of Guiseppe Battison), a cruel showman who steals from his employees and winds up locking Pinocchio in a cage. With the help of Pinocchio’s personal conscience, Jiminy Cricket (voice of Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and marionette Sabina (voice of Jaquita Ta’le), Pinocchio manages to escape and is on his way home when he is tricked and taken to Pleasure Island, where children are turned into donkeys and sent to work in a mine. Luckily, Pinocchio escapes again and finally finds his way home, only to learn that Gepetto isn’t there. He has sold all his priceless possessions to buy a boat to go off in search of Pinocchio. Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket set off to find Gepetto and just as they are about to reach each other, they are eaten by a sea monster. When things couldn’t possibly look any more bleak, Pinocchio and Gepetto learn a powerful lesson about love and the magic of simple acceptance.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Dishonesty and deceit; Lying; A child separated from his parent; Abduction; Being swayed from what you know is right by the lure of fame and fortune.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Pinocchio sets his finger on fire.
  • Gepetto throws the cat into the fish bowl.
  • A cat gets a huge, wooden mallet and smashes a fox on the head. He then smashes himself on the head while trying to hit Jiminy Cricket.
  • Pinocchio drops the wooden mallet and it knocks the fox on the head again.
  • The school teacher kicks (literally) Pinocchio out of the school house, claiming it is just for real children.
  • Two characters capture Jiminy and imprison him in a glass jar.
  • Pinocchio falls down a flight of steps and gets his nose stuck in a piece of wood while everyone laughs at him.
  • Stromboli roughly snatches Pinocchio and locks him in a cage.
  • Jiminy is nearly crushed by a wagon wheel.
  • Kids smash pianos, throw bricks through stained glass windows and set off fireworks and explosives.
  • Children smash clocks, with bats and sling shots, much to Pinocchio’s dismay.
  • Pinocchio and Gepetto are swallowed by a sea monster with huge teeth. Jiminy hits its teeth, trying to get inside the monster to help Gepetto and Pinocchio.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are some smoke monsters that come out of nowhere to capture and imprison the children that have been turned into donkeys. They are sinister-looking and relentless, with glowing eyes and smoky tendrils that reach out to ensnare their prey before they vaporize and fade away, only to appear again elsewhere.
  • There are a number of lesser characters, all of whom attempt to harm Pinocchio, who are sinister-looking and extremely mean. The general threat these characters pose may distress some children.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Pinocchio is violently thrown into a cage and locked away. He is crying, asking for his father and begging for help. He eventually sits down in the cage, hopeless and defeated.
  • Gepetto is shown very sad and worried as he searches through the night after Pinocchio does not come home.
  • Pinocchio is taken by a man and a band of children. He seems very uneasy and wants to leave but eventually agrees to go with them. They are encouraged to drink root beer and eat sweets, destroy whatever they want and generally run amok. Pinocchio is scared and doesn’t want to do what everyone else is doing but eventually drinks a bit from the mug. He wonders where all the children have gone and is horrified to watch the boy he is with turn into a donkey. They boy is terrified, is writhing in pain, and begging for help as he shape-shifts in the shadows. The donkeys are all imprisoned in crates and taken to a mine by the smoke monsters. As Pinocchio tries to escape he is pursued by a man and smoke monsters that are determined not to let him leave. Pinocchio just manages to escape them by jumping off a cliff.
  • Pinocchio and Gepetto are just about to be reunited when they are suddenly swallowed by a sea monster. They manage to escape through its teeth after starting a fire on a shipwreck in its mouth but as soon as they are back out in the open sea, the monster pursues them. His huge mouth opens wide as he intends to chomp and capture them again. He looms over them as Pinocchio tries to speed away. Gepetto is terrified and they just make it into a sea cave as the monster impacts the rocky cliff.
  • Pinocchio and Gepetto are eaten by a sea monster that rises up from beneath them and ensnares them in his jaws. They are reunited in the cavern of the monster’s mouth where they must figure out a way to escape. They start a fire on a shipwreck and time their exit precisely to sail out through the mouth. The scene is intense and fraught with peril. For a moment it doesn’t look like they will make it. Their boat is chopped in half and the monster chases them through the water, unwilling to leave them be. He relentlessly chases after them, Gepetto is clearly petrified and it looks like they will not escape.
  • Gepetto appears to be dead after the attack from the sea monster and Pinocchio kneels over him, begging him to wake up and begging him not to die but the woodcarver remains unresponsive. After Pinocchio sheds tears over him he suddenly regains consciousness.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Some children in the lower end of this age bracket, along with more sensitive children may also be upset by the above-mentioned scenes.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A character says, in relation to Pinocchio, that: “There are other ways to make a boy, but Gepetto doesn’t get out much”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Jiminy Cricket rests his hand on a lady statue’s voluptuous bottom. He notices her looking at him and says, “Pardon me ma’am”, when he realises what he has done.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • A wooden figurine comes out of a cuckoo clock with a raised mug of beer.
  • Children are encouraged to drink large, frothy, mugs of ‘root beer.’ These appear to have been laced with something that turns them into donkeys.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Jackass
  • What the cuss
  • H – E – double hockey sticks
  • Bollocks
  • Blimey
  • Jeepers
  • Crock
  • Loser
  • Stupid
  • Holy moly
  • Twerp
  • Idiot
  • Brat
  • Party pooper
  • Blockhead
  • Rascal.

In a nutshell

Pinocchio (2022) is a live-action (combined with CGI animation), animated musical from Disney. While the original film contained some fairly dark moments, this latest version contains a few scenes which are even more so. Although marketed as a family film, this is not one for younger children and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 8-9.

The main messages from this movie are that it is not about what you look like on the outside but rather who you are in your heart that defines you; that you should be careful who you trust; that lies can really change people; and that one of the most powerful tools to help you through life is having a conscience and choosing to do what is right rather than what is easy or just feels good.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Courage
  • Helpfulness
  • Truthfulness
  • Integrity
  • Selflessness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Agreeing to go with someone you don’t know.
  • Being swayed by what someone tells you about making you rich or famous.
  • Forgetting to listen to your conscience or that inner voice and doing what you know to be wrong.
  • Accepting drinks from someone you don’t know.