Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Disney's live-action version of Pinocchio from earlier this year felt redundant and unnecessary. A shadow of the original animated film based on the classic story, the new version failed to capture much magic at all. Released only two months later, Guillermo del Toro's stop-motion version of Pinocchio breathes new life into the story you already know setting the Italian tale during the 20th Century when a grieving father's wooden recreation of his son is brought to life. 

Featuring far more heart, wonder, and life-like performances than the live-action version, Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio is an imaginative and heartfelt take on the story following the misadventures of Pinocchio (Gregory Mann), Geppetto (David Bradley), and a cricket (Ewan McGregor). It isn't a kiddie film but a moving story of life and loss and the love which can be found in between.

As for our title character, this Pinocchio is childlike but also a quite odd creature who doesn't understand the world or his place in it and whose sudden appearance causes quite a commotion in the sleepy Italian town and interest in others who would use the living puppet to further their own ends. Letting his personality remain childlike but allowing his outer form to be something more bizarre is one of most intriguing choices the film makes. Despite getting top billing, Geppetto is far more integral to the story than merely as a catalyst for events. And we also get a strong supporting cast including Ron Perlman creepily voicing the local fascist who sees value in a soldier who can never die.

From the design of the puppet to the emotion that pours from the stop-motion characters, Guillermo del Toro succeeds in bringing the story to life while putting his own spin on things mixing a bit of both horror and comedy into the proceedings of what is at its heart a deeply emotional journey. While certainly darker than either Disney version of the story, the film still proves to be a joyous exploration in a rediscovery of a beloved classic.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
  • IMDb: link

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