Guillermo del Toro and Netflix have announced that del Toro’s long anticipated feature length stop motion animated film ‘Pinocchio” will finally go into production with Netflix. This long awaited film has been the much talked about subject in the animation world and many including del Toro thought the film was not going to happen. With his winning 4 Academy Awards for his feature film The Shape of Waterit is likely that the value of del Toro’s work is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Amazon had originally expressed interest in the project but later turned away leaving del Toro to express that he didn’t believe the production would see the light of day. As well many insiders within the stop motion studio industry also made rumblings of their belief that the film would never get made.
With the latest news that Guillermo del Toro will be making this film the community is ecstatically asking many questions and looking for many answers. What we know currently is who is involved with the film. Patrick Mchale (creator of Over the Garden Wall) will co-write the script, Mark Gustafson (animation director for Fantastic Mr. Fox) will co-direct, and Guy Davis (concept designer for The Shape of Water) will be the production designer. Mackinnon & Saunders will build the puppets. The film will be in collaboration with Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company, and Shadowmachine. As to the location of the project it will most likely be either in Portland or in Los Angeles due to the location of Shadowmachines two studios. Producers will consist of Guillermo del Toro, Lisa Henson, Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar. Co-producer will be Blanca Lista. The story design will be based off of Gris Grimley’s original designs.
The story will take place in 1930’s Italy during the rise of fascism and be considered a musical. This dark telling of the classic tale had been a fan favorite for many who read the works of comic book/graphic novelist Gris Grimly. His writings such as Boris and Bella, Wicked Nursery Rhymes, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow are a must read for anyone interested in his work. The original designs for the del Toro Pinocchio is based of the collaborative work of Carlo Collodi and Gris Grimly. We can see that if the film is true to the original designs then Netflix will most likely have a winning combination with the high level of artists and studios involved with the project.