Picks and Pans Review: Geppetto

UPDATED 05/08/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/08/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Sun., May 7, 7 p.m. ET)

Fans of ABC's The Drew Carey Show know the sitcom star occasionally likes to display his song-and-dance side. (See the May 10 episode for a splashy example.) But he's the weak link in this original Wonderful World of Disney musical, which retells the Pinocchio tale from the viewpoint of the wooden boy's toymaker father (played by executive producer Carey). With a wig in place of his crew cut, Carey looks vaguely like Meat Loaf but sounds more like an eager amateur who does his best singing in the shower. And since Geppetto is not a particularly humorous character, the role and Carey are an uncomfortable fit.

Fortunately, the husky lead receives stout support from Brent Spiner, hilarious as the plotting puppeteer who sees Pinocchio (Seth Adkins) as a meal ticket; René Auberjonois as an ebullient manufacturer of perfect children; and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Blue Fairy. Spiner and Auberjonois make the most of their comedy numbers, which are easily the best of the eight new songs by Stephen Schwartz.

Bottom Line: When you wish for a better star...

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