Guillermo del Toro is a filmmaker I find myself conflicted about. Without a doubt, he has one of the most striking visual styles of any working filmmaking out there. When you’re watching one of his movies, you know it. However, while his style is interesting, I have rarely been a fan of the actual content he puts out. For every Pan’s Labyrinth or Shape of Water, we kind duds like Pacific Rim or Hellboy (that’s right, I said it). They aren’t bad, by any means. They just sort of fall flat for me.
But I’m always interested in what could be with him. His potential for tackling other properties is infinite, and that applies to his upcoming project with Netflix, Pinocchio. While we have very few details about this one, it does seem to fit del Toro’s style, and his tendency to go dark with fairytale-esque stories. But what made him go for this one? Here’s what he told Collider:
“As a kid I felt a kinship with the figure of Pinocchio, not in the happy way or a good boy way. I was very interested in whether he can be himself and be loved. Does he have to turn into a real boy to be loved? Why can he not be loved exactly the way he is? Why can we not be the imperfect children of loving parents? Those are the things I connect with.”
“The beauty of Pinocchio for me is that he’s not a perfect creature. He’s a very difficult kid. But he’s a kid that learns the boundary between what he wants and others. He’s very much like Frankenstein: he’s a creature that’s created through unnatural means by a father that he distances himself from and has to learn the ways of the world by failing and ache and pain and loneliness. So it’s very different from the way people usually perceive Pinocchio. I see him and I think Pinocchio is an oddity, a strange creature and I love him because of that.”
The outlet then asked him why he decided to shoot this one in stop-motion:
“Because I’ve been an animator all my life. The first movies I made were stop motion with my Super 8 camera. I love the medium. That’s why my first scholarship for students was to create stop motion in Mexico. In Japan there’s this beautiful theatrical technique called bunraku with puppets and there is a Greek theatre with masks. I think there is an abandonment to the avatar in stop motion that makes the figures more expressive and beautiful in the pantomime than if you did it with people.”
As a lover of LAIKA, I think we have a saddeningly little amount of stop-motion movies out there. Any opportunity to get another is fine by me. Plus, given the puppet nature of the story, it’s also something that is very fitting for the medium. But what do you think? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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