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The latest live action film version of THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO ($15) has a decidedly European flavor, and features special effects work courtesy of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO stars Martin Landau as Geppetto, the kindly woodcarver and puppet maker who is rewarded for his loving heart, with a son made of wood. Many years ago, Geppetto carved his initials and those of his true love into a tree. When he creates a puppet from that very same tree, the magic of love brings his creation to life.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas supplies the voice of Pinocchio, Geppetto’s wooden son who wants to become a real boy; Jim Henson’s Creature Shop supplies the living puppet. Udo Keir is the film’s primary villain, Lorenzini, a master puppeteer who must possess Pinocchio. Lorenzini wants to star the fantastic living puppet in his next extravaganza. Circumstances force Pinocchio into the hands of the puppet master, while his father goes in search of the son he has lost. On the way back to his father, Pinocchio has a few adventures with the cricket that has become his guardian. Finally, father and son are reunited in the belly of a giant whale. The cast of THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO also features Bebe Neuwirth, Rob Schneider and Geneviève Bujold.

New Line Home Video offers THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO in both Letterboxed and pan and scan presentations on opposite sides of the same DVD. The pan and scan transfer crops away far too much of the image to be truly pleasing, but the colors are quite good and the image is relatively sharp. The Letterboxed transfer is quite nice and restores most of the films original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The framing looks correct most of the time, with only an occasional instance where the edges of the frame appear compromised. The transfer is sharp and well defined. Colors are rich and vivid. Compression artifacts didn’t pose any problems on the Letterboxed or pan and scan transfers.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack had a pleasing mix, with a good deal of atmosphere and some nice directional effects. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround track. Subtitles are available in English and Spanish. The interactive menus offer access to an original theatrical trailer, a behind the scenes featurette, cast biographies/filmographies, plus a couple of simple interactive games for the kids.


The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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