Guillermo del Toro
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Guillermo del Toro has always bounced between disparate subjects in his work, so it’s no surprise that he is following up his Academy Award-winning picture, ‘The Shape of Water’, with something completely different– a stop-motion musical take on ‘Pinocchio’.  The film will reportedly be set in Italy during the rise of fascism, under the leadership of Mussolini.

This will be del Toro’s first animated film and it is being produced for Netflix rather than theaters.  del Toro will co-write (with Patrick McHale, ‘Over the Garden Wall’, ‘Adventure Time’), produce and direct.  Netflix is home to the animated series ‘Trollhunters’, which was envisioned by del Toro as part of his ‘Tales of Arcadia’ trilogy.  It will also be the home to upcoming series ‘Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight’.  Mackinnon & Saunders (‘The Corpse Bride’) will craft the puppets.

In a statement, he declared:

“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio.  In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.


“After the incredible experience we have had on ‘Trollhunters’, I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy.”

Del Tor seems to have a different approach to the story and main character.

Italian writer Carlo Collodi penned ‘The Adventures of Pinocchio’ in 1883 as a cautionary tale for children, to discourage them from being lazy, selfish and disobedient.  In it, when Pinocchio encounters a talking cricket who warns him not to exhibit bad behaviors, Pinocchio picks up a hammer and kills him!  At the end of the original serialized publication, Pinocchio was EXECUTED!  Collodi changed the ending when the story was published in novel form.

Of course, the most famous interpretation is Disney’s 1940 animated classic.  While that version spared the life of Jiminy Cricket and depicted Gepetto as a loving father, it also ramped up one sequence considerably, sending Pinocchio and his companion Lampwick to Pleasure Island, where they get drunk (!), smoke, commit vandalism, and gamble, which causes Pinocchio to grow donkey ears and a tail, but turns the other delinquent kids completely into donkeys.

Disney is planning their own live-action adaptation, but something tells me that this part of the story is going to be significantly toned down.

As for del Toro’s version, Melissa Cobb, the vice president of kids and family programming for Netflix stated:

“Throughout his distinguished career, Guillermo has exhibited mastery in inspiring people through his magical worlds filled with unforgettable and magnificent characters, from the monsters in ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ to the aquatic beast in ‘The Shape of Water’. We are incredibly excited to expand our relationship with Guillermo and we know that his deeply touching vision for bringing Pinocchio to life on Netflix will be embraced by audiences the world over.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter