By Brent Furdyk.

One of Netflix’s most anticipated projects in recent months ois Guillermo del Toro’s edgy new take on “Pinocchio”.

Set in Mussolini-era fascist Italy in the 1930s, the film was created using old-school stop-motion animation techniques, something that del Toro feels is crucial to telling the story the way he wants to tell it.


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“It’s the perfect way to tell the story,” del Toro told IndieWire after debuting a sneak peek at the film’s first 38 minutes.

“Everyone is a puppet. Being animated makes the existence of Pinocchio completely naturalistic the way you’re telling the tale,” he added. “I’m surprised, happy, that it hasn’t been tackled like that before. It comes so naturally to the tale.”

As is to be expected from the director of such films as “Nightmare Alley” and “Pan’s Labyrinth”, del Toro’s “Pinocchio is pretty far removed from the classic Disney version, with alcoholic woodcarver Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley) grieves over the death of his son, ultimately carving a wooden replacement from the trunk of a tree next to his grave. Geppetto action, however, raises the ire of haughty Sebastian J. Cricket (Ewan McGregor),  who’s been living in the tree while writing his memoirs, leading him to take an interest in the wooden boy when he magically comes to life.


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“Most every other [‘Pinocchio’] is about obedience and ours is about disobedience because it’s a primary factor in becoming human,” del Toro said of the rebellious Pinocchio character, who feels rules are made to be broken. “And how becoming human doesn’t mean changing yourself or others, but understanding.”

He added: “The first step toward conscience and the soul for me is disobedience. It’s the difference between ideas and ideology. And idea is constructed from experience and compassion and understanding. And ideology is something that is given to you and you are told to obey it blindly.”

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” debuts on Netflix on Dec. 9.





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Ellen Bullock