While Disney are ploughing on with their live-action remake of Pinocchio, many people have started to forget that Gauillermo del Toro and Netflix are supposed to be releasing a dark fantasy stop motion version of the story about a little wooden puppet that dreams of being a real boy. Originally announced back in 2018, the movie has suffered similar delays to many movies of the last two years, but now it seems that the movie is going to be even longer than expected, with the premiere date being pushed back to next year. While some have suggested this could be due to del Toro having Nightmare Alley coming out this December which would no doubt be in contention for the Oscars, and with Pinocchio another likely Academy Award contender it would make sense keep them out of the same year’s running.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio stars Ewan McGregor as the voice of Cricket, with Harry Potter star David Bradley providing his talents for Gepetto, while new to the industry Gregory Mann has the task of bringing Pinocchio to life. The all star affair also features Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swindon, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, Ron Pearlman and John Turturro.
The official synopsis for Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio reads : “Set during the rise of Fascism in Mussolini’s Italy, Pinocchio – a musical directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) with a score by Alexandre Desplat – is a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations”
Guillermo Del Toro wrote the script for the movie with Patrick McHale, which features songs with lyrics also by del Toro writing with Katz. In addition the original designs for Pinocchio himself are by Gris Grimly and were built by Mackinnon and Saunders, who were responsible for the stop motion figures used in Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride.
“After years of pursuing this dream project, I found my perfect partner in Netflix,” del Toro previously said. “We have spent a long time curating a remarkable cast and crew and have been blessed by continuous support from Netflix to quietly and carefully soldier on, barely missing a beat. We all love and practice animation with great passion and believe it to be the ideal medium to retell this classic story in a completely new way.”
Based on the del Toro’s previous fairytale fantasies, despite the musical element, there is likely to be very little in this version of Pinocchio that will be in line with the Disney version, which is in post production and stars Tom Hanks. While Disney are essentially continuing their recreation of all of their animated classics as live action movies, all bright and happy and full of Disney joy, del Toro will aim for a more adult telling of the tale, and you can expect a lot of dark fantasy elements in the mix, very similar to the likes of Into The Woods, which takes elements of many children’s tales and rolls them into a dark and twisted musical tale. Unfortunately, we now have a little longer to wait to see the movie arrive in cinemas, but no doubt it will be worth the wait when it does finally arrive next year.