Just weeks after the release of his sumptuous horror anthology, Cabinet of Curiosities, the always prolific Guillermo del Toro is back with the first full look at another visually resplendent Netflix project. That’s right, we’ve got a first full trailer for Pinocchio, not to be confused with the “live action” Disney adaptation of Pinocchio (or the disastrous Pauly Shore version) from earlier this year. Not that you could actually mistake these films for each other when looking at them, because del Toro’s take on the tale is unsurprisingly as distinctive as distinctive can be. Truly, this is barely the same story as the Disney version at all. As the official synopsis puts it:
A retelling of the famous Carlo Collodi fairytale about a wooden puppet who comes to life and dreams of becoming a real boy takes place in 1930s Fascist Italy. When Pinocchio comes to life, however, he turns out not to be a nice boy but instead the opposite, causing mischief and playing mean tricks. But at its core, Pinocchio is “a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations, learning the true meaning of life.”
Obviously, the overt political connotations of this Pinocchio echo the same sentiments present in earlier GDT classics such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. Thankfully, though, political commentary isn’t all this movie has going for it, because it can also boast stellar-looking stop-motion animation and one of the best voice casts we’ve seen for an animated feature in recent memory. That cast includes the likes of Ewan McGregor, Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Ron Perlman, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro and more, supporting newcomer Gregory Mann as Pinocchio.
In fact, if any single piece of casting really gets the difference across between the del Toro and Disney versions, it’s that of woodcarver Geppetto. In the Disney version, the iconic role was played by Tom Hanks, in an extremely safe, warm and fuzzy bit of casting. Guillermo del Toro’s Geppetto, on the other hand, is played by none other than actor David Bradley, perhaps best known as Game of Thrones’ Walder Frey, architect of the brutal Red Wedding. That difference in tone tells you pretty much everything you need to know about del Toro’s sensibilities.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio will be hitting select theaters this week, on Nov. 11, 2022 before its wide streaming release on Netflix on Dec. 9, 2022. Check out the first full trailer below as the anticipation builds.