The New Adventures of Pinocchio is the charming sequel to the 1996 live-action movie. Though the cast is largely new, Martin Landau returns as Geppetto; his role is pared down, however, by a neat twist in the tale. Udo Kier also returns, this time in the new bad guy/girl role of Madame Flambeau, whose carnival sets itself up in Pinocchio's town and offers everyone a miracle elixir to change their lives. Pinocchio (now played as a real boy by Gabriel Thomson) hopes the elixir will make his papa recover from a nasty cold, but it turns out that Flambeau has tricked him with puppet-making juice. So now it's Geppetto who's the wooden star of the show! Lots of surprises keep the story happily moving along, with secret identities waiting to spring from the likes of Warwick Davis as the ringleader Dwarf. The Jim Henson Studio puppets are first-class as always, with some flawless computer graphics coming to the rescue every so often. There's a beautiful backdrop of the Luxembourg countryside for this pantomime, and everyone looks as if they're having great fun putting the film together. --Paul Tonks
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