Guillermo del Toro reveals a first look at his stop motion Pinocchio via an interview with Vanity Fair and as you can imagine, it’s going to be very different from Disney’s version.

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A Wooden Frankenstein

From the man who gave us Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, The Shape of Water and recently Nightmare Alley it comes as little surprise to hear del Toro’s unusual take on the beloved classic story. He explains: 

“I’ve always been very intrigued by the links between Pinocchio and Frankenstein, they are both about a child that is thrown into the world. They are both created by a father who then expects them to figure out what’s good, what’s bad, the ethics, the morals, love, life, and essentials, on their own. I think that was, for me, childhood. You had to figure it out with your very limited experience.”

There is also a shift from Pinocchio having a desire to be a “real boy” with the creator leaning towards having to actually act out those intentions rather than just mere wishes.

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The Setting

Del Toro’s Pinocchio will be set in Italy between the two world wars, when fascism began to rise in the nation under the authoritarian dictator Mussolini. Del Toro adds:

“Many times the fable has seemed, to me, in favour of obedience and domestication of the soul. Blind obedience is not a virtue. The virtue Pinocchio has is to disobey. At a time when everybody else behaves as a puppet – he doesn’t.”

Oh my days, are the blue hairs going to hate this!

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The Cast

Del Toro shares directing credit on Pinocchio with Mark Gustafson, who was the animation director on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The voiceover cast includes David Bradley as Geppetto, Gregory Mann as Pinocchio, Ewan McGregor as Sebastian J. Cricket, Christoph Waltz as Count Volpe, Finn Wolfhard as Candlewick, and Ron Perlman as Mangiafuoco. 

Ron Perlman is a regular in del Toro’s movies but this role comes with a huge slice of irony. Ron supplies the voice Mangiafuoco. His character is a Podesta (like a Mayor) but wears an ominous armband and he controls the town politically and socially at this time. Life imitates art.

Ron Pearlman

Disney vs. Del Toro

Disney has their live version of their classic Pinocchio cartoon coming to Disney+ in September. Their film stars Tom Hanks and is directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is already coming under a lot of fire.

For multiple reasons, Disney is not in favour with many families across the world right now. Their Pinocchio trailer on YouTube has 2,426,478 views but a ratio of 44,000 Likes and an astonishing 303,000 Dislikes. 

Del Toro’s on the other hand has 2,594,589 views with 79,000 Likes and only 1,000 Dislikes. I know the one I’m interested in seeing and it’s not the one that involves the mouse. 

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio will premiere on Netflix in December of 2022.

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