The world needs another “Pinocchio” movie about as much as it needs another “Peter Pan” or “Beauty and the Beast” movie – ie. not for many years at least.
However, beloved filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has come up with an impressive way to make the story interesting again for his new Netflix film which won’t be out for a while yet. Rather than going for a bland, family-friendly straight re-telling, he’s making it as a stop-motion animated feature set in 1930s Italy during the rise of fascism.
That allows for a thematically rich project and this week he spoke with Variety about just which themes he wants to explore with the property and how they’re a logical breaking out of the confines of Carlo Collodi’s original work:
“To me, Pinocchio, very much like Frankenstein, is a blank canvas in which learning the curve of what the world is and what being human is are very attractive to do as a story. I’m very attracted to it because, thematically – and I don’t want to spoil what the movie’s about – it’s about something that is in all of my movies, which is choice. That’s a theme that is very dear to my heart.
I think [earlier versions of] the story, and Collodi’s in particular, are very repressive. It’s essentially a very brutalist fable about what a sin disobedience is. And I think disobedience is the beginning of the will, and the beginning of choice. … I think there’s something that’s very attractive about seeing disobedience as a virtue, or as the beginning of a virtue.”
del Toro produced “Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark” which is in cinemas now, he co-wrote the pilot for Amazon’s “Carnival Row” series premiering next month, and he is next slated to pen and direct the film “Nightmare Alley”.