Guillermo del Toro, the filmmaker behind Pan's Labyrinth and The Shape of Water, has pursued his version of Pinocchio for years — a stop-motion animated adventure set in fascist Italy pre-World War II. So... not Disney's approach. The film is finally coming out this December, and Del Toro shared a sneak peek that shows off the fruits of the tireless labor that went into the stop-motion.
Del Toro notes that stop-motion animation in the early days was imperfect, and that imperfection "was sort of gorgeous to look at because it told you how the thing was done."
"I really wanted this movie to land in a way that had the expressiveness and the material nature of a handmade piece of animation and artisan beautiful experience in carving, painting, sculpting, but it had the sophistication of movement that research on rigs and puppetry making have taken us to," he says.
Gregory Mann voices Pinocchio in the film, which also features David Bradley as Geppetto, and Ewan McGregor as Sebastian J. Cricket. The cast is rounded out by Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, and Burn Gorman.
Netflix David Bradley voices Geppetto opposite Gregory Mann's Pinocchio in Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio.'
The behind-the-scenes footage shows off the various puppets — in various sizes — constructed for Pinocchio, including a larger-than-life sized Pinocchio head for a smaller Cricket puppet to sit on. The visuals maintain the aesthetic of Gris Grimly's Pinocchio illustrations from his children's book.
Del Toro directs Pinocchio with Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox), and he wrote the screenplay with Patrick McHale (Adventure Time).
Pinocchio will premiere in select theaters this November and on Netflix this December.
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