Faerie Tale Theatre: “Pinocchio” (1984)

Strong but unremarkable, this episode of Shelley Duvall’s classic children’s show tackles the Carlo Collodi tale with vivid imagination and stunning set design, but is held back from greatness by a stiff performance by Carl Reiner as Geppetto. Nevertheless, Paul Reubens is perfectly cast as Pinocchio, bringing his trademark energy and exuberant screen presence to the role and managing to elicit unexpectedly poignant pathos and melancholy. The set designs are remarkably inventive (in particular the whale sequence, where the set dressers demonstrate ingenuity and boundless imagination), but the aforementioned miscasting has a tendency to distract the viewer.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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