Directed by del Toro alongside Mark Gustafson from a script by the former with Matthew Robbins (Crimson Peak), the movie marks del Toro’s first feature-length animated movie. He’d been trying to get the project financed since 2010, and fans of Hellboy II: The Golden Army know stop-motion has been a passion of the filmmaker for some time. It finally all came together when Netflix revived the film in 2018, and now we get to see the fruits of del Toro’s labor of love.
As the first trailer shows, del Toro’s Pinocchio sees Sebastian J. Cricket (Ewan McGregor) narrating the tall about “imperfect fathers and imperfect sons, about loss and love.” It’s centered, of course, around a lonely woodcutter named Geppetto (David Bradley), who decides following the death of his young son to create a wooden puppet to fill the gap in his life. While the origin stories and Disney’s iconic animated adaptation were set in the late 19th century, del Toro’s Pinocchio moves the tale to the 1930s with Benito Mussolini’s fascist rise as the backdrop.
With Pinocchio voiced by newcomer Gregory Mann, the voice cast also includes Finn Wolfhard as Candlewick, Cate Blanchett as Sprezzatura, Christoph Waltz as Count Volpe, and Ron Perlman as Podesta. Other cast members include Tilda Swinton, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, and Burn Gorman.
The movie is set for a limited theatrical release in November before hitting Netflix’s streaming platform in December. Watch the trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio below.
This is the second of three Pinocchio movies coming in 2022. A direct-to-VOD children’s CGI feature with Pauly Shore as the title character was released by Lionsgate in March, while Disney’s live-action adaptation of its own 1940 cartoon classic arrives on Disney+ on September 8th. Robert Zemeckis directed that version, which stars Tom Hanks as Geppetto, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as Pinocchio, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket.