Guillermo del Toro’s Pinochio is a stunning and wonderful film that I think most if not everyone should watch at least once.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio starts off the same way the classical tale always does, but with some changed details. “I would say most every other Pinocchio story is about obedience,” says del Toro.“Ours is about disobedience. Disobedience being a primal factor in becoming human and how becoming human doesn’t mean changing yourself or others but understanding.” The story is now set in fascist Italy and the carpenter Geppetto, stricken with grief, drowns his sorrows with alcohol. After losing his son Carlo, Geppetto makes a”wish” which is then granted by the blue fairy who has been transformed into a deep blue winged spirit. This “wish” brings to life the wooden doll Geppetto had drunkley carved. Alive and full of curiosity Pinocchio starts his journey of discovering what it means to be human with help from his declared consciousness Sebastian J Cricket. This journey is not easy as Pinocchio struggles with the relationship with his father, acceptance in other people’s eyes, and a world plagued by war. This film covers serious topics and themes, but it does keep many comedic aspects. There are messages related to one’s mortality, and the changing world. It shows how grief can consume one to the point where they themselves can no longer see the gifts that were given to them. Guillermo del Toro also included scenes between not only Geppetto and Pinocchio, but characters such as Podesta and his son Candlewick that show the conflict between a parent and child and differing mindsets they have.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio took around two and half years of filming and 1,000 days of production to complete. Stop motion animation is typically hand done clay models moved frame by frame. This includes any type of movement from expressions to the background. For example, to create a 24 frames-per-second five minute film can take 60 hours . This film was a passion project that Guillermo del Toro had been wanting to adapt for decades and had various creators, directors, and animators to make this project a reality. “I saw (Disney’s) ‘Pinocchio’ as a very young kid, and I loved it because I found it captured how scary childhood felt to me,” said del Toro. “But I didn’t quite understand why he needed to be an obedient boy to be loved. And then in my 20s, I started thinking that it would be great to set him against a totalitarian government. Those were sort of floaty ideas.” The notion of disobedience in the film makes it a lot deeper compared to the other adaptations of Pinocchio. It makes the film more real as children do disobey and get into trouble but that does not stop the love a parent has for their child. Disobedience is a part of life and this film shows that well.
This film is outstanding in every way, in my opinion. From animation to voice acting. The story and how each aspect is used are both amazing. There is a lot of dedication in stop motion animation, which I particularly enjoy because it is so rare and expensive nowadays. You can tell how much everyone involved cared about this film. I especially love the details with the blue fairy as they are represented as less of a normal beautiful woman but with her whole body being this deep rich blue and her feathers movement was done gracefully. I love the enthusiasm and child innocence that was presented through Pinocchio’s voice actor. Because of the tone of the voices and the precise facial expressions, many of the scenes between characters felt real.. For instance, Pinocchio questions why he must listen or what a burden is. Questions a child would ask. His thoughts and reasoning are not at the level of an adult. I liked how bittersweet it was; not many retellings of classic stories choose such gritty issues, so this was quite refreshing. Though covering serious themes I think this film is for everyone. Guillermo del Toro states, “It’s a movie that is tackling adult notions, but it can be watched in a family environment.It is beautiful and moving and has an incredibly warm heart. But it deals with the notions and emotions and things that will take you back to the real world.” I agree with his statement fully. The film displays its themes well with little plot inconsistencies and does not feel rushed throughout its run time.