Netflix Offers a First Glimpse of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

It’s been several years in the making, which isn’t a surprise where stop-motion animation is concerned. But Guillermo del Toro’s star-studded Pinocchio is real, and coming our way this year—and here’s a little introductory teaser featuring Ewan McGregor’s Cricket to prove it.

Del Toro’s film—which takes as its inspiration Gris Grimly’s illustrated Pinocchio—was announced in 2018, and its top-notch cast in 2020. Along with McGregor’s Cricket, the film stars David Bradley as Geppetto and newcomer Gregory Mann as Pinocchio. They’re still not telling who the rest of the cast plays, but the lineup includes Cate Blanchett, Burn Gorman, Tim Blake Nelson, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton,  John Turturro, Christoph Waltz and Finn Wolfhard.

When the movie was originally announced, del Toro said, “No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio. In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.”

Del Toro co-directs with Mark Gustafson (the animation director on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox) and co-wrote the screenplay with Grimly, Matthew Robbins (who co-wrote Crimson Peak) and Patrick McHale (creator of Over the Garden Wall). (Of course, original Pinocchio author Carlo Collodi, on whose 1883 novel The Adventures of Pinocchio the story is based, gets a credit too.)

In short, the whole film is stacked with talent. The teaser reveals very little, other than that Cricket is far more bug-like than anything Disney ever manifested, and that it’s going to be hard for some of us not to hear him as Obi-Wan Kenobi. But that’s fine, isn’t it? I kind of like Obi-Wan Cricket, conceptually.

Pinocchio comes to Netflix in December 2022.

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