Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)
Title: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
Genre: Animation | Drama | Fantasy |
Runtime: 117 min
Director: Guillermo del Toro & Mark Gustafson
Starring: Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Christoph Waltz
A darker version of the classic children’s fairy tale of a wooden puppet that transforms into a real living boy.
THE SENSE OF A FATHER-SON RELATIONSHIP
Guillermo Del Toro’s incarnation of the wooden boy coming to life stands out from the crowds and reaches the crowd in a more intimate and significant way than another telling of the story. We get to walk into a stop-motion-animated world, filled with fascinating characters with rich storytelling and atmospheric world-building.
Like many of Del Toro’s other stories, his characters are memorable. His worlds are lived-in and cherished. And you can tell by the story and the animations and all the creation of the story, that Guillermo really cared for a story like this deep, intimate, and emotional. This is a story about life and death. It celebrates life and reminds the viewer how fleetly human life is, through the eyes of a wooden puppet boy. As much as it’s a tale of life, it feeds us with an unprecedented emotional story about a father and son, and how their relationship evolves in the film. Unlike Walt Disney’s Pinocchio which also arrived this year, 2022, it doesn’t feel like another film. It’s been done with the filmmaker’s heart and earnest so, in how the relationship between characters evolves and how conflicts don’t contradict the character’s behavior. It’s a very humane story.
The digital animation blended through the stop-motion work is very fascinating. It’s ambitious yet it’s very grounded in this world’s reality. It’s obvious that it is 1930s fascist Italy, which is seamlessly embedded into the story in a mature way. It doesn’t take over the story and the overall classic tale still moves forward in the background.
The voice-acting feels also like a natural choice, between the boy voiced by Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor as the Cricket, and David Bradley as Geppetto. Even with the supporting cast, it sounds like they are all characters, even those handpicked by Guillermo Del Toro like Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett. They are all an ensemble that knows how to work as a team in the telling of a family film entertaining. Ewan McGregor’s calm voice makes it all worth it, as he has the voice of reason just like David Bradley can embody the soul of a grumpy old man who later becomes a caring father of a wooden boy.
This film is told from the heart and with passion, unlike many other storytellings. It’s creative and smart and thoughtful. It hits also the right spots with a story that connects on a personal level, it’s a story that makes you think afterward at the same time it celebrates what we are supposed to cherish the most, family.