‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ Trailer
There are some years when movies with the same concept arrive at once – 1998, for example, saw both ‘Armageddon’ and ‘Deep Impact’ deal with asteroids threatening the world in different ways, while the year before had ‘Volcano’ and ‘Dante’s Peak’ tackling hot lava bubbling towards scared people.
But given how many times that Carlo Collodi’s ‘The Story of a Puppet’ has been adapted for screens big and small using the name of its main character, Pinocchio (probably most famously in Disney’s 1940 animated version, which took home Oscars for original song and score), it was inevitable that two big productions would arrive within months of each other.
Collodi’s tale was originally published in serial form way back in July 1881. The publication stopped at Chapter 15, but popular demand meant it resumed in February 1882. Re-released in single book form in 1883, it has been hailed as one of the greatest works of Italian literature.
We’ve had Robert Zemeckis’ live-action update of the story for Disney and now it’s the turn of Guillermo del Toro, who has long wanted to bring ‘Pinocchio’ to screens in stop-motion form.
For this version, del Toro co-directs with Claymation veteran Mark Gustafson (who was director of animation on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ in 2009) and the script is from del Toro, Patrick McHale, Gus Grimly and Matthew Robbins.
This new trailer is narrated by Sebastian J. Cricket (voiced by Ewan McGregor), the latest incarnation of the character who usually serves as an advisor to the central character, a puppet who longs to become a real boy. In true del Toro style, here he’s not simply a funny character along for the ride – he lives in Pinocchio’s heart.
Along with his quest to become truly real, Pinocchio has another mission – he’ll mend the heart of his creator/father figure, the woodcarver Geppetto, who is mourning the loss of his son Carlo. But it won’t be an easy task, and Pinocchio’s journey is fraught with danger. He’ll have to learn that disobedience can be as crucial to growing up and becoming who you’re meant to be as blind loyalty.
“The main conflict within Geppetto and Pinocchio is that Geppetto wanted Carlo, who was a very well-behaved, very docile kid, and he doesn’t quite get Pinocchio, who is rowdy and wild and exuberant,” del Toro told Vanity Fair in June. “The virtue Pinocchio has is to disobey. At a time when everybody else behaves as a puppet — he doesn’t.”
Alongside McGregor, Gregory Mann is voicing Pinocchio, while ‘Harry Potter’ alumnus David Bradley is Geppetto. Finn Wolfhard plays Candlewick, Cate Blanchett is Sprezzatura, Christoph Waltz is the cunning Count Volpe, while John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Burn Gorman, Tilda Swinton and Ron Perlman make up the rest of the main cast.
The designs here are definitely more del Toro than Disney – especially Sprezzatura, this film’s take on the Blue Fairy, who wouldn’t feel out of place in other GDT productions such as ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’.
‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ is on limited theatrical release now and arrives on Netflix on December 9th.