Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Guillermo del Toro has a fondness for monsters, so it should come as no surprise that he’s comparing his upcoming stop-motion animated adaptation of Pinocchio to the classic tale of Frankenstein. In a recent interview about the forthcoming Netflix project being developed with The Jim Henson Company, del Toro discussed his vision for Pinocchio and how it hits close to his love for Frankenstein. Find out what he had to say below.

Variety has this update about Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio straight from the man himself, who teased how the themes of his take on Pinocchio will play out:

“To me, Pinocchio, very much like Frankenstein, is a blank canvas in which learning the curve of what the world is and what being human is are very attractive to do as a story. I’m very attracted to it because, thematically — and I don’t want to spoil what the movie’s about — it’s about something that is in all of my movies, which is choice. That’s a theme that is very dear to my heart. I think [earlier versions of] the story, and Collodi’s in particular, are very repressive. It’s essentially a very brutalist fable about what a sin disobedience is. And I think disobedience is the beginning of the will, and the beginning of choice. … I think there’s something that’s very attractive about seeing disobedience as a virtue, or as the beginning of a virtue.”

Guillermo del Toro has previously said that this version of Pinocchio will not be family friendly, so maybe the choices that the puppet who becomes a boy has to make will be a little more significant, potentially darker. The mention of disobedience being a virtue is interesting too. Perhaps Pinocchio will have to choose whether to betray what he’s been told is the right thing to do and determine for himself what is right and wrong.

The comparison of Pinocchio as a character to that of Frankenstein’s monster isn’t a new concept. But beyond the simple similarities between their creations, there’s much more at play in their stories that del Toro can bring to light in a fantastical way, not unlike how he’s done before with fairytales like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water. Having del Toro tackle something like Pinocchio in this manner, especially in stop-motion animation that allows his unique vision to come to life in a far more visually compelling way, sounds exquisite.

Pinocchio is expected on Netflix sometime in 2021.

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