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Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio review: an exciting re-reading

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is an exciting reinterpretation, capable of conquering even the most skeptical, here is our review

ORIGINAL TITLE: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. TYPE: animation, fantasy, adventure. NATION: USA, Mexico. REGIA: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson. CAST: Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Tilda Swinton, Ron Perlman, Cate Blanchett, Finn Wolfhard, Christoph Waltz, Tim Blake Nelson. DURATION: 121 minutes. DISTRIBUTOR: Netflix. EXIT : December 2022.

I meant that Pinocchio must be loved without changing. Demanding someone to transform as a requirement to love him seems like terrible blackmail to me. Unacceptable.

– Guillermo del Toro

A few months after its release, the time has come to talk about one of the most exciting animated films of 2022, Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro. If initially, the release of yet another remake dedicated to the wooden puppet could only seem like a remake of something already seen (among other things, just a few weeks after the release of the Disney live-action, dedicated precisely to this character), a once seen, one can only accept that he judged the film very prematurely. Del Toro’s Pinocchio is a true author’s masterpiecerecommended for those who would like to get excited in front of a known film, as if they were seeing it for the first time.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio review: an exciting re-reading

A non-trivial review | Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro

Let’s start right away with talking about the emotion that this film is able to arouse. They do not spring from classic elements, based on the nostalgia factor, but from new context in which this film is inserted. Del Toro extracts the heart of the tale of Collodi, reworking it and giving it a profound meaning, capable of affecting even those who grew up with Pinocchio. All this gives the film originality and depth, also thanks to elements already present originally, but never explored, without giving the impression of wanting to overdo it. The typical characteristics of Pinocchio, such as his incredible ability to always get into trouble, give way to more mature topics, able to hit the audience from the first moments of the film. Del Toro’s Pinocchio was not born in a moment of “fun” by Geppetto, but from despairfrom the anger and from pain of a father, on which life has played a bad joke. Pinocchio will have to constantly fight against the expectations that others have of him, to try to feel up to it. The parallelism between is also fascinating Pinocchio and Jesus on the cross. There are several moments in which the two figures are contrasted with each other.

In this film the shades are darkercompared to previous versions. These are not only expressed through the events that follow, but also permeate other aspects of the film. An example of this is thecharacter aesthetics and the historical period in which the events are set. Elements that differ significantly from the versions we are used to, especially in the cartoon version, but which allow you to become attached to the characters from the very first minutes they appear on the screen.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio review: an exciting re-reading

A raw aesthetic | Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro

It is clear that del Toro’s intention is not to create an aesthetically beautiful film. Beauty, often used, especially in children’s products, gives way here to raw and raw characters and settings, but equally (if not more) fulfilling. Pinocchio is not the sweet puppet with a curious and nice air that we are used to seeing, but rather an angular, rough character with nails driven into his back and a hole in his chestmade of a gnarled and splintered wood, which seems as if it should break at any moment.

The same goes for the other characters, characterized by a more mature aesthetic. A striking example is represented by the blue fairy, who in this case abandons the appearance of a bright young girl, to take on the role of a Spirit of the forest, with the appearance of a biblical angel, with wings covered with eyes. The same can be said for the Jiminy Cricket and his face certainly less sweet and graceful than in other versions. The technique of stop- motion mixed with CGI used helps a lot in the enterprise.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio review: an exciting re-reading

A little bit of Italy | Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro

The only idea of ​​reviving a story that has become a classic, setting it in the historical period between the great war and therise of Fascism, makes the film even more interesting. Especially if historical events serve to move the story and have a strong impact on the life of the characters. Del Toro was able to put the story of Pinocchio in a new context, without making it too overwhelming or out of place. This does not mean that these changes are not marked. An example above all is to transform the Land of Toys in a military barracks.

Then there is a detail to underline, which certainly pleased the Italian spectators. The film is set in Italyprobably in honor of the origins of the puppet, born from the pen of the Florentine Charles Collodi. In this way, the frame that is the background of the texture is full of elements that convey Italian spirit, making us feel a bit at home, between squares, streets and environments, such as that of the Church, very present in the Italian context. There wealth of details allows the eye to get lost in the different environments, greatly enriching the whole.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio review: an exciting re-reading


In conclusion, we can state that this is one of the best versions of Pinocchio ever made. It is an example of how a film should be managed that has an already known character as the protagonist, without running into the usual copies of plots seen and reviewed, which add nothing to the original version. Del Toro’s film demonstrates that it is possible to skilfully pick up stories, recreating exciting and non-trivial plots. The director was able to do it masterfully, revisiting the story in a more mature and never banal way. Pinocchio was a pretext to stage strong themes such as prejudice, self-acceptance and lossall profound themes, which go beyond the simple desire to “become a real child”. For those who missed it, we remind you that Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is available in streaming, on the platform Netflix. Run to recover this little stop-motion jewel, winner of the Oscargarlic Annie Awardai Critics’ Choice Awardsai BAFTA and you have Golden Globecome Best Animated Film. You will not regret it.

One of the best adaptations ever

Plus points

  • Original, mature and exciting rereading
  • Addition of details that give depth to the plot
  • The historical period and the chosen places give even more emotion and uniqueness to the plot

Points against

  • No negatives to highlight

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