This version of Collodi’s story from director Steve Barron has a peculiarly European flavor. It sticks closer to the book than Disney, while throwing in odd ideas. None of the characters are surprised that the puppet’s come to life, but the villains (Rob Schneider and Bebe Neuwirth, making unexplained animal noises) try to exploit him as an attraction.
Martin Landeau is good but underused as Geppetto, but then he’s not really the main character. As it is, the little wooden boy looks and acts like – well, a puppet.
Frankly, the whole thing made little impression on me – but then, I’m not the target audience. The screening I attended was filled with little girls gushing over kidvidstar Jonathan Taylor Thomas who stood up and cheered when he became a “real boy” at the end. This kid is hot with the under 10 chicks.