We ain’t lying – we dig Guillermo Del Toro ’round these pages, especially pleased he has for many years he also has called Toronto home. Now the Oscar-winning director has set his sights on another classic, building on the success of Trollhunters and tackling a classic tale of a different sort. The story of Pinocchio is of course closely associated with the 1940 Disney film, and anyone that visited the exhibit of Del Toro’s collection will have seen his strong affinity for classic animation from that studio. Given the opportunity to inject some of his trademark fancifulness, along with paying respect to what’s come before, should make for a truly exceptional canvas on which GDT will paint his portrayal.
It was just a year ago that the project went in turnaround, making this yet another “dream project” rescued by the big coffers at Netflix. With a film of this scope it’s hoped that Netflix will allow audiences a chance to see it on the big screen as well as in their homes.
The stop motion film is being animated by members of the Jim Henson Company and Shadow Machine (Bojack Horseman), and this tease from earlier production elements gives a sense of the macabre musical whimsy that Del Toro is likely to bring to the tale.
The original press release:
GUILLERMO DEL TORO TO MAKE HIS ANIMATED FEATURE FILM DIRECTORIAL DEBUT AT NETFLIX WITH HIS LIFELONG PASSION PROJECT PINOCCHIO
Acclaimed Academy Award Winning Filmmaker Set to Direct, Write, and Produce Stop Motion Animated Musical
Hollywood, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2018) — Academy Award winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is making his animated feature film directorial debut at Netflix with his lifelong passion project, Pinocchio, which he will also write and produce as a stop motion musical. Pinocchio will be del Toro’s first feature film since The Shape of Water, which garnered four Academy Awards last year, including for Best Director and Best Picture.
Del Toro has set his retelling of the classic tale of Pinocchio in Italy during the 1930s. This marks an expansion of Netflix’s existing relationship with Guillermo del Toro, who created their Emmy award-winning television series DreamWorks’ Trollhunters, the first installment of the DreamWorks’ Tales of Arcadia trilogy. The next chapter, 3Below, is set to debut on December 21, 2018, followed by Wizards in 2019. He is also the creator of the upcoming Netflix series, Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.
Pinocchio is a production of Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), and ShadowMachine (Bojack Horseman, The Shivering Truth), which will house the stop-motion animation production. Alongside del Toro, Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce. Blanca Lista will co-produce. Also alongside del Toro, Patrick McHale (Over The Garden Wall, Adventure Time) will co-write the script, Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) will co-direct, and Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer, taking inspiration from Gris Grimly’s original design for the Pinocchio character. The film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders (Corpse Bride). Netflix expects production on Pinocchio to begin this fall.
Quote from Guillermo del Toro: “No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio. In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember. After the incredible experience we have had on Trollhunters, I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy.”
Quote from Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Kids and Family at Netflix: “Throughout his distinguished career, Guillermo has exhibited mastery in inspiring people through his magical worlds filled with unforgettable and magnificent characters, from the monsters in Pan’s Labyrinth to the aquatic creature in The Shape of Water. We are incredibly excited to expand our relationship with Guillermo and we know that his deeply touching vision for bringing Pinocchio to life on Netflix will be embraced by audiences the world over.