Guillermo Del Toro is putting his magic touch on another fairy tale classic, Pinocchio. We learned today Del Toro is teaming up with The Jim Henson Company (OMG! AWESOME!) and Pathe to create a 3D, stop-motion animated film that will more closely resemble the original Carlo Collodi tale than the Disney version. Expect this version of Pinocchio to be grittier, darker and more surreal. I’m hoping for a faithful adaption that won’t put us to sleep like the hum-drum Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton recently gave us. Del Toro talked about the children’s tale with Deadline,
“There has to be darkness in any fairy tale or children’s narrative work, something the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and Walt Disney understood,” del Toro said. “We tend to call something Disney-fied, but a lot of people forget how powerfully disturbing the best animated Disney movies are, including those kids being turned into donkeys in Pinocchio. What we’re trying to do is present a Pinocchio that is more faithful to the take that Collodi wrote. That is more surreal and slightly darker than what we’ve seen before.”
Del Toro won’t be directing, sadly, but he’s producing and handing the directing reigns over to Gris Grimly and Mark Gustafson. Grimly recently illustrated a version of Collodi’s original Pinocchio and that book became the basis for this project. Gustafson was the director for Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox. They’ve already tapped Australian rocker, Nic Cave for music consultation and MacKinnon and Saunders will be handling the stop-motion. They are probably best known for working on Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. With this caliber of talent involved we can only expect great things.
I adore stop-motion and wish more studios would produce this kind of animation. I understand it’s time consuming and often very costly but seriously Hollywood, when you’re pushing out a half dozen, awful, 3D, computer generated shit films every month you’d think you could spare a dime on a more creative and innovative form of animation. I’m not a hater on CG animation, I’m not one who thinks the computer has killed the animator but have you seen some of the schlock coming out, Gnomeo and Juliet? Wtf!? But that’s just like, my opinion, man.
It sounds like Guillermo Del Toro really has his hands full right now. Besides working on Pinocchio he’s got the film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountain of Madness and that little monster which sprouted into two films, The Hobbit. How can he possible handle yet another film? Well, Guillermo Del Toro’s a wizard. Wait, no. Here’s what Del Toro says about how he’s managing his new project,
“We’ve designed key frames and characters, we know the mood and the feel, we’ve created a bible,” del Toro said. “ Shooting stop motion animation takes a lot time, but we’ve got the right team and I will be there for daily or weekly updates on how it’s going.”
Or maybe he is a wizard, I don’t know. But I do know this Pinocchio film looks fantastic. After the jump check out two more concept images and tell us what you think.