What will happen when you give a roundly weird director a roundly weird story?
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.
Del Toro will collaborate with the Jim Henson Company, the company behind “The Dark Crystal” and ShadowMachine, the creator of “Bojack Horseman.”
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.”
These are my thoughts on Guillermo del Toro directing "Pinocchio" for Netflix.
The original novel of Pinocchio is pretty messed up. We love Jiminy in Disney's Pinocchio, yet in the original Jiminy Cricket is smashed to death in a fit of rage. The Pleasure Island part is much more disturbing. The original original version ends with Pinocchio being robbed by bandits who hang him from a tree, which takes longer than normal to kill him because he's a puppet.
Most children's stories are cautionary tales, for obvious reasons. And most were horrific. And like them, It was a cautionary tale.
Pinocchio was also much more than naughty in the original - and his mischief is portrayed less as "lovable scamp" and more as "bad child". So that's his comeuppance.
It wasn't until the extended version – when the story was picked up by a publisher – that this was changed because they wanted more content. I the extended version by being a puppet made him immune to hanging and the bandits got bored of waiting for him to die and left. It wasn't until the Disney version that his hijinks are portrayed as harmless fun rather than moral failing. I would say Disney’s take on the character is that he’s certainly selfish and impulsive, though this is born from his naïveté and blind curiosity, in the original Italian he is a nasty brat. And he learns from his mistakes in the Disney Version which made it more timeless.
So I would say that they picked the right directory. The source material is pretty ripe for the Del Toro treatment.