It seems like every time you turn around, Guillermo Del Toro is announcing a new project. The Mexican filmmaker has more films lined up at the moment than some directors tackle in a lifetime, and just when you think he can't possibly start something else, along comes an announcement like today's big reveal that he'll be producing a new 3D stop-motion animation version of 'Pinocchio.' How does he do it?
Del Toro tells Deadline that he's teaming up with the Jim Henson Company and Pathe to craft what's going to be an edgier version of the Disney classic, one based on the Carlo Collodi fairy tale and directed by Gris Grimly and Mark Gustafson. Grimly's 2002 illustrated version of Collodi's famous story served as the inspiration for the project. Frequent Del Toro collaborator Matthew Robbins has written the script and musician Nick Cave will serve as musical consultant.
Read on for more details.
Del Toro tells Deadline that this new version will be aimed at children age 10 and up and will be scarier than the Disney version. He then goes on to clarify that he thinks the Disney version is scary, but that his take will up the ante:
"There has to be darkness in any fairy tale or children's narrative work, something the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and Walt Disney understood. We tend to call something Disney-fied, but a lot of people forget how powerfully disturbing the best animated Disney movies are, including those kids being turned into donkeys in 'Pinocchio.' What we're trying to do is present a 'Pinocchio' that is more faithful to the take that Collodi wrote. That is more surreal and slightly darker than what we've seen before."
He proceeds to point out some examples of the differences, mentioning that in this take on the material, the Blue Fairy is really the spirit of a dead girl and that Pinocchio goes through several harrowing ordeals and near-death experiences. Would we expect anything less from the man who's given us films like 'Pan's Labyrinth'?News of 'Pinocchio' comes just prior to Paramount's decision whether or not to proceed with Del Toro's H.P. Lovecraft adaptation, 'At the Mountains of Madness." The director says things are looking good on that front, but in a sign that he's human after all, he can't direct both that movie and 'Pinocchio.' The adaptation is in capable hands, though; Grimly is a comic artist with a keen visual style and Gustafson served as the animation director on 'Fantastic Mr. Fox.' With talent like that onboard, it seems as though this new take on the wooden boy with the growing nose will be visually striking. Don't take our word for it, though -- check out the picture above and some other pieces at Deadline. All are concept art for Del Toro's vision.
What do you guys think? Can Del Toro's darker stop animation film compete with Disney's classic, or is this updating of 'Pinocchio' destined to eternally play second fiddle to the 1940 film?