If you liked the story of Pinocchio when you were a kid, it might not hurt to try Guillermo del Toro’s version, which you can see right now on Netflix.
Off the top of my head, this version isn’t necessarily one for kids, eschewing the classicism and “sweetness” of Carlo Collodi’s writing. But what else would you expect from Guillermo del Toro? Still, you’re likely to get a hearty cry even so.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, a fully animated spectacle
As previously mentioned, Pinocchio, directed by Guillermo del Toro, can be watched on Netflix.
If you liked Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, you’ll definitely appreciate Pinocchio, too, especially since the latter mentioned is many classes above the former.
From this narrative variant we learn that Geppetto, the wood-carving carpenter (David Bradley) is said to have had a son named Carlo, who unfortunately dies in a bombing raid in World War I.
Years later, he makes Pinocchio, not necessarily on a whim, but amid an existential crisis culminating in a drunken binge. What follows inevitably takes you back to Frankenstein.
Pinocchio is made from a pine tree grown from a cone brought by Carlo, in which Sebastian J. Cricket (Ewan McGregor) makes his home.
You can also hear Tilda Swinton in this film, a detail you might enjoy, of course, if you’re a fan of the actress.
This Pinocchio is rough, reckless and impulsive, a far cry from what the good Carlo had been. Within hours of coming to life, he’s running around Geppetto’s workshop, tearing down absolutely everything around him.
Pinocchio is inexperienced and unfinished and has chaotic movements and somewhat bizarre behavior.
Unlike most directors, del Toro has no interest in removing these imperfections, preferring instead to emphasize them.
So if you’re expecting Disney-like animation, you won’t get that, but you will see a film told, both narratively and visually, in a unique way that lacks not a little sensitivity (be it masked).