Last week, I reviewed Disney’s Strange World, an original story with eyepopping animation and compelling father-son relationships. This week, I watched Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio, a unique take on a classic tale with familiar fatherhood themes and incredibly different animation that blew me away.

As Geppetto explains to Carlo, lies are found out immediately because lies are like long noses – visible to all but the teller of the lie. So let’s put that theory to the test. Below are three statements about Pinocchio. Can you spot the lie?

Pinocchio is a masterpiece.

Pinocchio is a masterpiece for three reasons. First and foremost, stop-motion animation is remarkable. Have you ever tried to make a stop-motion video? I remember making them for hours with action figures or Legos when I got my first Razer in middle school. All the videos I made were bad and short. Unsurprisingly, according to IMDB, it took Guillermo Del Toro and his crew over 1,000 days to shoot this film using hand-carved puppets. The process must have been painstaking. If you like this film, you must check out Netflix’s Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio Handcarved Cinema for the inside footage of the animators at work. It gave me an even greater appreciation for the work and artistry that went into the film.

Second, the cast is star-studded. The cricket narrator is voiced by Ewan McGregor, aka Obi-Wan Kenobi. David Bradley, aka Argus Filch, from the Harry Potter film series, voiced Geppetto. They got the Stranger Things kid, Finn Wolfhard, to voice Candlewick. Tilda Swinton from the Doctor Strange films nailed the voice for Death and the Wood Sprite. Ron Perlman, who I know best as Clay from Sons of Anarchy, collaborated with Guillermo Del Toro once again. Cate Blanchett voiced (grunted) a monkey named Spazzatura. The list goes on and on. However, the animators performed the real acting by creating expressions through the frame-by-frame movement of the puppeteers’ hands, feet, and facial features.

Third, this film has great music that ties everything together. The story is quite emotional, and the soundtrack sealed the deal. For me, the test for good music in a film is whether a song sticks in my head. I’ve been internally singing “Ciao papa” for days when I’m not singing the Burger King whopper jingle.

Pinocchio is a real boy.

When I started the film, I found Pinocchio’s wooden look, one ear, and spiked-up hair to be genuinely horrifying. This was especially true given the Frankenstein-ish way Geppetto crafted Pinocchio when he was absolutely hammered on a dark and stormy night. I loved the line when Pinocchio said he is a real boy, made of flesh and bone and “meaty bits.”

Pinocchio explores many themes, including what it means to be truly alive. Pinocchio wrestles with immortality, how to be a son, and being an outsider. By the end, I became lost in the world Guillermo Del Toro created and found Pinocchio to be very likable. If Pinocchio doesn’t meet Webster’s definition of “boy,” he’s still my boy, according to Urban Dictionary.

Pinocchio is a rewatchable film.

Once you watch for a few minutes, the stop-motion choppiness dissipates. Pinocchio is a film that I’ll watch again and again to remind myself of its important messages about fatherhood and accepting your family for who they are.

The Lie

Ok, fine. The third sentence is the lie. I do think everyone should watch Pinocchio once. However, I won’t be revisiting this film too often. The tragic beginning hurts my soul.