Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro is set to make his debut in animated feature film as a director. Del Toro has received the green light from Netflix to film “Pinocchio,” a stop motion musical version of the classic children’s tale about a puppet who wants to be a real live boy. He will write and produce the film in addition to directing it.
The film will be set in Italy during the 1930s, a particularly fraught historical moment and a time when fascism was on the rise and Benito Mussolini was consolidating control of the country. Production on “Pinocchio” will begin this year. Del Toro was experienced with the children stories, his previous films about children were “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.
In recent interview, del Toro said:
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.
In this new film, Del Toro will collaborate with the Jim Henson Company, the company behind “The Dark Crystal” and ShadowMachine, the creator of “Bojack Horseman.” Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment as producer of the film. Blanca Lista will co-produce it.
Patrick McHale will co-write the script, and Mark Gustafson will co-direct the movie. Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer and the film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders, the team behind “Corpse Bride.”