In January 2022, the official Netflix YouTube account posted a stop-motion trailer. Pinocchio a film co-created by Guillermo del Toro and animator Mark Gustafson. In May, Disney released a trailer for another Pinocchio The Own Movie is a Disney+ exclusive inspired by the 1940 animated classic. This version will be directed by Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks will play the carpenter Geppetto.
The Netflix film is a subversive take on the classic story of Carlo Collodi’s novel, with Ewan McGregor’s Sebastian J. Cricket promising “a story you might think you know, but you don’t.” In contrast, the trailer for the Disney version is heavily based on nostalgia and tradition, featuring a rendition of the original movie When You Wish Upon a Star, which has since become Disney’s musical signature. Since both films will be released in 2022, how will they differ from each other?
The Netflix movie will be fully animated, and the animation is the perfect medium to tell the story of a wooden puppet that comes to life through magic. Stop motion animation is a particularly inspiring choice, as this style of animation is created by repositioning and taking thousands of photographs of physical character models. The care that del Toro, Gustafson and their team have to show in this project seems to be a tribute to the dedication and skill of Geppetto himself. In this version, Pinocchio will indeed be a puppet come to life.
In contrast, live-action Disney remakes have been criticized because the medium places limits on the imagination of original animated films. Disney Pinocchio the trailer shows a static puppet depicted with a prop that looks the same as its appearance in the 1940 film. However, if previous live-action Disney remakes are a sign, Pinocchio is likely to become a CGI character once he’s brought to life. Interestingly, Pinocchio, being an animated character among live action actors, can create a more striking contrast between the two, making the puppet’s desire to be a “real boy” even more symbolically significant.
Both films have a strong cast. The Disney+ trailer highlights Tom Hanks as the humble carpenter Geppetto as he makes his fateful wish and sails the sea. Cynthia Erivo appears in the trailer as the Blue Fairy, and this isn’t her only major role in the upcoming musical: Erivo will play Elphaba in the 2024 John M. Chu film. Immoral fixture. Joseph Gordon-Levitt will voice Jiminy Cricket, who is shown close-up and from a distance in the trailer to play up the sense of scale created by the miniature character.
Netflix’s Geppetto to be dubbed Broadchurch BAFTA winner David Bradley, which pop culture fans may recognize as Walder Frey. Game of Thrones and Filch in Harry Potter series. The film’s IMDb page also promises Oscar winners Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Christoph Waltz to voice roles as well. Longtime Del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman is also listed for the role of theatrical antagonist Mangiafuoco.
Del Toro has never made stop-motion films, which is surprising as his often intricate fairy tale style evokes the dark themes seen in other stop-motion films such as Corpse Bride as well as Coraline. However, he has worked in animation before, such as his original CGI Netflix series. Troll hunters. Gustafson has extensive stop-motion animation experience to support the project and introduce del Toro to the medium, working on numerous claymation television episodes and one-off specials.
Some of Robert Zemeckis’ animated films, while technically innovative, have been criticized for their extremely realistic style. Most recently own Disney Chip and Dale: Rescuers joked about the characters of the “uncanny valley” Beowulf with Seth Rogen’s Viking character Bob. However, Pinocchiothe combination of live actors and more exaggeratedly stylized animated characters can play into the hands of some of the director’s more notable strengths, as he set the benchmark for 1988’s hybrid animated and live-action films. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
Netflix’s official summary describes Geppetto as “mourning,” and the Disney+ trailer briefly shows a framed photo of a human boy who resembles the puppet of the same name. This could mean that both films re-characterized Geppetto as the creator of Pinocchio because he misses his dead son. Del Toro compared Pinocchio to an eternal horror story Frankenstein, which means that the film will have a dark tone. However, it looks like both films will explore the rather dark theme of child grieving.
Both films promise creative animation and a spellbinding fairy tale story. However, it’s understandable that fans may be wary of Zemeckis’ film due to controversy over previous live-action Disney remakes and are more excited about del Toro and Gustafson’s experimental reimagining of the story. Whichever adaptation audiences choose, those who are still fascinated by the story of the wooden boy and his various moral dilemmas will hopefully find that both films have enough unique elements to make them worth watching.
Pinocchio hits Disney+ on September 8, while Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio hits Netflix in December 2022.