Pinocchio (2022 animated movie)

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Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
Directed by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Guillermo del Toro
  • Matthew Robbins
Based onThe Adventures of Pinocchio
by Carlo Collodi
Produced by
  • Guillermo del Toro
  • Lisa Henson
  • Alexander Bulkley
  • Corey Campodonico
  • Gary Ungar
CinematographyFrank Passingham
Edited byKen Schretzmann
Music byAlexandre Desplat
Distributed by
Release date
  • December 2022 (2022-12)
  • United States
  • France
  • Mexico
Budget$35 million[3]

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (or simply Pinocchio) is a stop-motion animated musical fantasy movie released in 8 September 2022 and directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson.

It stars Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Gregory Mann, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, Burn Gorman, Christoph Waltz and Tilda Swinton.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on October 15, 2022. It was released in select theaters on November 25, 2022, before its streaming release on December 9, 2022, by Netflix. This is one of three 2022 Pinocchio-based films, the others being Pinocchio: A True Story and Disney's live-action adaptation.

Plot[change | change source]

In Italy during the Great War, the carpenter Geppetto loses his son, Carlo, during an inadvertent aerial bomb of Austrian Army. Geppetto honors his memory by planting a pine cone near his grave and spends the next twenty years mourning his loss.

An anthropomorphic cricket named Sebastian takes up residence in the resulting pine tree. Geppetto subsequently cuts the tree down in a fit of drunken rage in order to make a new son out of its wood. He passes out drunk, leaving the puppet unfinished, and a blue Wood Sprite brings it to life, christening him Pinocchio. The Sprite meets Sebastian and promises to grant him a wish, which he intends to use to become famous, in exchange for acting as Pinocchio's guide.

Geppetto later discovers that Pinocchio is alive and locks him in a closet while he goes to church, but he follows him, frightening the villagers. The next day, Geppetto sends Pinocchio to school, but the puppet is intercepted by the former aristocrat-turned-showman Count Volpe and his performing monkey, Spazzatura.

Volpe convinces Pinocchio to join his circus and gets him to sign a contract. However, Geppetto catches him performing. After he arrives to take him home, him and Volpe have a tug-of-war that results in Pinocchio being thrown to the road, where he is hit by a car.

Pinocchio is sent to the afterlife where he meets the Black Rabbits. He is then sent through the doors to meet Death, the sister of the Wood Sprite. She explains to Pinocchio that he is immortal, and that he will return to the mortal realm once an hourglass has flowed, cautioning that the time he spends in the afterlife will increase each time he returns.

Returning to the mortal realm, Pinocchio decides to join Volpe's circus, both to earn money for Geppetto and to avoid being drafted into the Royal Italian Army by the strict Podestà. In attempt to regain his legacy as the star, Spazzatura tells Pinocchio that Volpe has been conning him out of the money that he was going to send to Geppetto. Upon hearing this, Volpe starts beating Spazzatura, much to Pinocchio's disliking.

When Sebastian and Geppetto search for him at sea, they are swallowed by a giant Dogfish. During one of his performances, Pinocchio sings a toilet-humor ladened parody of a previous patriotic song to Prime Minister Benito Mussolini as revenge for Volpe's abuse and is shot by Mussolini's right-hand man, dying once more. Musssolini also orders the circus burned. In the Afterlife, Death warns him that his immortality is a burden and it will affect the lives of his loved ones.

He is again revived to find himself taken by the Podestà to a training camp where other small boys are trained to fight in the war. Pinocchio befriends the Podestà's son, Candlewick, who is scared of disappointing his father and being seen as weak. On Pinocchio's advice when the 2 end up winning a tie in a game, Candlewick stands up to his father when he tells him to shoot Pinocchio. But suddenly, the training camp gets bombed, killing the Podestà. The blast of the bomb causes the boys to separate, Pinocchio is thrown in the air by the blast while Candlewick climbs out of the debris.

Pinocchio manages to escape and is captured by Volpe, wanting revenge against the puppet for humiliating him earlier, but Spazzatura intervenes and they are sent over a cliff, with Volpe meeting his demise. When Pinocchio rescues Spazzatura, they are swallowed by the Dogfish, where they soon reunite with Geppetto and Sebastian.

Pinocchio tells some lies to make his nose grow to make a bridge leading out of the Dogfish's blowhole. Just as they escape, the Dogfish tries to eat them again, forcing Pinocchio to sacrifice himself by detonating a naval mine. Upon meeting Death again, he demands to be sent back early so that he can save Gepetto from drowning, despite the fact that this will make him mortal. After rescuing Gepetto, Pinocchio dies, prompting Sebastian to use his wish to bring Pinocchio back to life which the Wood Sprite grants.

Pinocchio and the others return home to live as a family. However, as Death told Pinocchio, he manages to outlive all of his loved ones as Geppetto, Sebastian and Spazzatura die with the passage of time. Now alone, Pinocchio decides to travel off to parts unknown for new adventures.

During the credits, Sebastian sings for the Black Rabbits in the afterlife.

Voice cast[change | change source]

  • Ewan McGregor as Sebastian J. Cricket, a traveling cricket and the narrator of the story, who lives inside Pinocchio as his guide and conscience.[4]
  • David Bradley as Master Geppetto, Pinocchio's father, a heartbroken Italian woodcarver grieving his deceased son Carlo.[4]
  • Gregory Mann as:
    • Pinocchio, an exuberant and rowdy living wooden puppet.[4]
    • Carlo, Geppetto's deceased son who was killed in a bombing raid. He is named after the author Carlo Collodi.
  • Burn Gorman as the Priest, a church priest and Geppetto's former client.[5]
  • Ron Perlman as the Podestà, Candlewick's father and a fascist government official who turns Pinocchio into a soldier.[4] He is the film’s counterpart of the Coachman from the original story.
  • John Turturro as Il Dottore, a doctor at Geppetto's village.[6]
  • Finn Wolfhard as Candlewick, the Podestà's son who bullies Pinocchio before befriending him.[4]
  • Cate Blanchett as Spazzatura, Count Volpe's mistreated monkey assistant.[4] His name means "trash" or "garbage" in Italian and he is the film's counterpart of the Cat from the original Pinocchio story. Spazzatura can only speak through the puppets he operates.
  • Tim Blake Nelson as the Black Rabbits, a flock of black rabbits with skeletal bodies who work for Death. They are based on the Undertaker Rabbits from the original story.
  • Christoph Waltz as Count Volpe, an ambitious former aristocrat-turned-puppet master and ringmaster living in destitution. His name means fox in Italian, and he is a combination of Mangiafuoco, the Fox, and the Ringmaster from the original Pinocchio story.[4]
  • Tilda Swinton as:
    • The Wood Sprite, a wise magical fairy who gives Pinocchio life.[7] Her appearance is a humanoid with two wings that have eyes on them and a snake-like tail.
    • Death, the Wood Sprite's sister who oversees the afterlife. Her appearance is a Chimera with the face of a human, the horns of a cape buffalo, the lower horns of a Jacob sheep, the body of a lion, the wings of a bird with eyes on them, and two snake-headed tails.
  • Tom Kenny as:
    • Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Fascist Italy.
    • Benito Mussolini's right-hand man
    • A sea captain with a hook for a hand and a peg leg who tells Geppetto about the Dogfish.

References[change | change source]

  1. Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 17, 2011). "Guillermo Del Toro Starting Stop-Motion 'Pinocchio' Feature With Henson And Pathe". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  2. Acosta, Gabriel (April 27, 2021). "Pinocchio empieza a cobrar vida en el Taller del Chucho en Guadalajara (Pinocchio begins to come to life at El Taller del Chucho in Guadalajara)". Publimetro (in Spanish). Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  3. Sharf, Zack (August 31, 2017). "Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' Isn't Dead Yet, But He Needs $35 Million to Make It". IndieWire. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Breznican, Anthony (14 June 2022). "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio Carves a New Path: An Exclusive First Look". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 14 June 2022. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  5. "Pinocchio LFF Premiere - Burn Gorman on his love of stop motion& Guillermo del Toro's bold vision". YouTube.
  6. "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022) - IMDb". IMDb.
  7. "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio Puts a Fantastical Spin on a Classic Tale".