Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

NZ release: 24 November 2022

Violence, cruelty and content that may disturb Rated on: 14 November 2022


What’s it about?

A stop-motion animated fantasy and musical, this new Pinocchio is a darker version of the classic children’s fairy tale.

Set in 1930s Italy, a wooden puppet, Pinocchio, is brought to life in attempt to bring a grieving father, who has lost his son, some happiness.

The facts

  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • English language
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • The film is a dark retelling of the classic 1883 Italian novel.

Why did it get this rating?

This film was classified by the Classification Office.


The film has a dark tone. Pinocchio visits the afterlife several times and death is a strong theme.

Creepy animated fantasy creatures appear in the film, some good and some bad. A wood sprite who lives in the afterlife has glowing eyes and animal-like features, like horns, talons and a tail made of snakes. There are also skeletal rabbits with glowing eyes and an evil monkey with a cloudy-looking eye. Pinocchio and Geppetto get trapped inside a whale-like sea monster with a large mouth and rows of pointed teeth.


There is a bit of bullying in the film. The villagers look down on a man who has lost his son and mock his grief. When Pinocchio is disobedient he is compared to his father’s son which is clearly upsetting for the puppet.

When Pinocchio joins a carnival he is treated cruelly and forced to work to exhaustion by the ringmaster.


Pinocchio is killed several times, by drowning, shooting, being blown up and hit by a car. There is no blood or injury shown.

During one scene Pinocchio is tied to a cross on a bonfire which is set alight. Pinocchio squirms as the fire engulfs his legs. The monkey saves Pinocchio before he is harmed and attacks his master, biting and pulling at him before the pair fall off a cliff. Their bodies are briefly shown on rocks.

The animation style in the film means the violence is not as upsetting as it would be in a live action film. However, the theme of death is present throughout the film. This means that it would be best to watch together as a whānau so you can kōrero about some of the darker themes and scenes.

Further information

Members of our Youth Advisory Panel attended our classification screening. They discussed how the dark atmosphere, cruelty and themes of death and existentialism would be confronting for very young children.

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