Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio VFX Breakdown by MPC

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio VFX Breakdown by MPC

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (or simply Pinocchio) is a 2022 musical dark fantasy film made through stop-motion animation directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson, with a screenplay by del Toro and Patrick McHale. Matthew Robbins and del Toro’s modified Pinocchio story, drawing from the 1883 Italian novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, was strongly influenced by Gris Grimly’s illustrations for a 2002 edition of the book. The film reimagines the adventures of Pinocchio, a wooden puppet who comes to life as the son of his carver Geppetto. It is “a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations, learning the true meaning of life”. Set in Fascist Italy during the interwar period and World War II, the film stars the voice of Gregory Mann as Pinocchio and David Bradley as Geppetto, alongside Ewan McGregor, Burn Gorman, Ron Perlman, John Turturro, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, Tim Blake Nelson, Christoph Waltz, and Tilda Swinton.

A longtime passion project for del Toro, who considers that no other character ever “had as deep of a personal connection to [him]” as Pinocchio, the film is dedicated to the memories of his parents. It was originally announced in 2008 with a release in 2013 or 2014. However, it went into development hell. In January 2017, McHale, creator of Over the Garden Wall, was announced to co-write the screenplay, but production was suspended in November 2017 as no studios were willing to provide financing. It was revived the following year after being acquired by Netflix.

Pinocchio premiered at the BFI London Film Festival on October 15, 2022. It was released in select theaters on November 9, 2022, and began streaming on Netflix on December 9. The film received critical acclaim for its animation, visuals, music, story, emotional weight and voice acting. It received many accolades, including winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and three nominations at the 80th Golden Globe Awards, winning Best Animated Feature Film. del Toro is the first Latino to win the Golden Globe category, and Pinocchio is the first film for a streaming service to win at both ceremonies, as well as the second stop-motion animated film after Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Pinocchio is also the first non-Disney/Pixar film to win the Oscar after 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

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