Does the world really need another animated take on Pinocchio, after Walt Disney’s iconic 1940 motion picture? It’s not just famous to be famous: it remains one of the darn best animated movies ever made, with images that are still powerful, frightening and intense even after all these years of technological advancement. They did it just with paint!
There have been other Pinocchio movies, but they’ve been parasitic knockoffs that attempted to fool people into believing they were sequels to the Disney version: Pinocchio In Outer Space from the 60s and Pinocchio And The Emperor Of The Night from the 80s (I’ve developed a weird fascination with Emperor of the Night, as it’s about as forgotten as an 80s movie can get).
But then there’s famed director Guillermo del Toro, who is about to complete his own version in stop-motion…and we have higher hopes for this Pinocchio than any of the others, as it’s a true passion project. Let us put it this way….del Toro has been trying to get his version of Pinocchio made since the 2000s. There is an EW.com interview from back in 2012 where he speaks passionately about making a darker, more mature take on the tale, and that he was aiming for a PG-13 rating.
It’s been a long struggle, but del Toro is finally finishing his vision thanks to a partnership with Netflix, who’s been shepherding the project since 2018 and will be premiering the film in about a year. We don’t know yet if anything in the EW interview still applies to this version, but here’s the teaser:
The question is if del Toro plans to make a movie more faithful to the book or not. The naive innocent Pinocchio was largely a Disney invention…Collodi’s original wooden boy was a complete jerk who played pranks on Gepetto minutes after birth and got him thrown in prison within the first chapter. The cricket became Pinocchio’s conscience because he truly needed one!
In this version, the cricket lives INSIDE Pinocchio, which could potentially make things messy during the “real boy” transformation. But hey, PG-13 oughta cover it. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio debuts on Netflix next December.