Having spent the past few decades making genre films on a live-action canvas like Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, and recent Oscar Best Picture winner The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro is now set to write, produce, and direct his first animated film: Pinocchio, a stop-motion musical of Carlo Collodi’s iconic story about a puppet who wanted to be real boy. In addition, this project will be produced for Netflix, continuing del Toro’s collaboration with the streaming service after his animated television series Trollhunters.
The film will take place in 1930s Italy, a time in which fascism was becoming more prominent in the country due to Benito Mussolini. The story of Pinocchio is one that has resonated del Toro in a variety of ways, and he has made it clear that he wanted to make his version of the tale for many years:
“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.”
Del Toro will also collaborate with The Jim Henson Company and ShadowMachine for the film, and production will begin later this fall. This project is another step in Netflix’s attempt for bringing in more children’s entertainment considering Disney’s streaming service is on the rise. It will be interesting to see what del Toro will bring to the material that Disney popularized in the early 1940s.