As someone who is not the biggest fan of Del Toro and does not like the Pinocchio story (probably the genesis for all killer doll stories) color me surprised by how much I enjoyed and appreciated this one!
And boy does it blow the recent Disney adaptation out of the water.
So this film is pretty dark. We follow Geppetto through the loss of his son. Drunk and desolate he makes a puppet from a special oak tree one night. A little cricket moves into the puppet and a nosy woodland creature gets involved and brings the boy to life and hence the birth of Pinocchio.
First off props to the stop motion animation. It is beautiful. If interested look into some of the interviews about how they did it. Del Toro talking especially about the tiny movements in the eyes is fascinating.
Second of all while the voice cast is fine special props to Pinocchio himself Gregory Mann. If this kid is as good live action he could be a real find! But boy character wise that puppet was near to unbearable in the beginning of the film. In a tiring way I suppose. I kept thinking poor Geppetto is probably like seventies at least. He’s going to kill him!
They add enough stuff to keep the story feeling fresh and interesting and leave you with actually a real bittersweet ending. But not unhopeful. I didn’t even mind the music. Plus there’s a great number involving a certain dictator…
And it’s funny but the whole time I was watching this I kept thinking who does Cate Blanchett voice? I guess one of the magical creatures even though they didn’t sound like her. Boy was I surprised!
Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is already wracking up awards nominations and getting Oscar Buzz. Which I think it has a very good chance but it’s worth a watch regardless 🙂