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Guillermo Del Toro to direct new animated Pinocchio film!

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Guillermo Del Toro, the creative mind behind some of Hollywood’s most thought provoking and visually striking works is set to make his animated feature film debut with Netflix’s remake of Pinocchio

Del Toro is set to produce, co-write and co-direct the retelling of the classic Disney story, which will be set in Italy in the 1930s against the backdrop of Mussolini’s regime. The film is said to be a ‘lifelong passion project’ of the academy award winning filmmaker whose previous work includes Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Crimson Peak (2015) and Pacific Rim (2013). 

The film will be a stop-motion musical based on the classic 1940 Disney film. The stop-motion technique, where clay dolls or puppets are moved incrementally frame-by-frame, is one that has been made famous in films like Coraline (2009), The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) and most recently Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs (2018), and is one that Del Toro will use to bring his version of Pinocchio to life. 

When discussing the upcoming film Del Toro revealed that, “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.”

The film marks Del Toro’s first feature film project since last year’s critical and commercial success, The Shape of Water, which swept the awards season, with a staggering 13 Academy Award nominations and 4 wins, including Best Picture and Best Director. 

After the announcement that Netflix has greenlit what will be the filmmaker’s animated directorial debut, Del Toro spoke of his passion for directing animation, saying, “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.” 

The online streaming service has previously collaborated with Del Toro on the Emmy award winning series Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia and is continuing their expansion into children's entertainment that has been growing with adaptations of Lemony Snickets A Series of Unfortunate Events and Dragons: Race to the Edge, based on DreamWorks 2010 film How to Train Your Dragon. 

There has been some confusion over the choice of Del Toro to direct, what will be at its heart, a children's film as Del Toro’s filmography is distinctly non-child friendly. Some have speculated that Netflix are on the hunt to finally win an Oscar and hiring an acclaimed director such as Del Toro is the way to go about doing it. 

However, Del Toro’s creative vision and cinematic flair guarantees that this version of the classic cartoon will be inventive, intelligent and certainly a great deal more complex than the live-action remake Disney is in the process of making. So perhaps Netflix is just trying to produce a remake of a Disney cartoon that is not simply a fairy tale with a happy ending. 

For now we can just speculate. No release date has been set but production is slated to begin later this year. 

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