The Annecy Festival Will Get A First Look At Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio

Once upon a time, Netflix was a haven for ambitious animated projects that couldn't find a home, picking up stop-motion movies by the likes of Guillermo del Toro and Henry Selick that had long struggled to secure funding. It even stepped in to save the animated movie version of ND Stevenson's ground-breaking LGBTQ+ fantasy comic book series "Nimona" after Disney shut down its original studio, Blue Sky, and pushed back against a same-sex kiss in the film. 

Of late, however, that image has been severely damaged — if not shattered — with Netflix gutting its animation department after failing to hit its subscriber goals and seeing a heavy drop-off in its stock value. As a result, the streamer has recently canceled several high-profile animated titles, including ones from Ava DuVernay and Dr. Ibram X, as well as an animated show based on Jeff Smith's beloved comic book series "Bone."

Naturally, all of this puts a damper on what would've otherwise been exciting news regarding Netflix's lineup at the annual Annecy International Animation Film Festival, making you question the company's priorities at a time when it desperately needs to get its affairs in order. Projects that will be highlighted at the event include "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio," the Oscar-winning filmmaker's stop-motion retelling of the classic fairy tale. "Big Hero 6" and "Moana" co-director Chris Williams' animated fantasy-adventure "The Sea Beast" will also hold its premiere screening at the event ahead of its release on Netflix on July 8, 2022.

Netflix's Annecy 2022 lineup revealed

For those not familiar, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival is held in Annecy, France, and has taken place every year since 1998 — even going online in 2020 in response to the pandemic. The festival highlights animated projects both big and small, ranging from arthouse fare to, oddly enough, the "Minions" and "Despicable Me" movies. That makes it the perfect spot for Netflix to hype its incoming slate of animated films and series ... or at least, it would if the streamer hadn't been laying off employees and axing projects left and right of late. (My apologies for being a downer about this, but it's no good ignoring the giant elephant in the room.)

Along with exclusive footage from "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" and a screening of "The Sea Beast," Netflix's Annecy lineup will include the "Masterclass: The Power of Inclusive Storytelling" panel hosted by Chris Nee ("Ridley Jones"), a work-in-progress sneak peek at director Nora Twomey's animated film adaptation of Ruth Stiles Gannett's kids book "My Father's Dragon," a sneak peek at Kid Cudi's animated musical series "Entergalactic," a behind-the-scenes look at the David Fincher-directed episode "Bad Travelling" from "Love, Death + Robots" Volume 3, and screenings of the many Netflix TV films in the official selection in competition at the event ("Arcane," "The Cuphead Show!," "The House," "Human Resources," "Robin Robin," and "We the People").

This year's Annecy International Animation Film Festival will take place from June 13-18, 2022.