Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” will feature stop motion puppetry, and the acclaimed filmmaker takes viewers behind the scenes of the process in a new featurette released as a part of Netflix’s Tudum celebration on Saturday.
“To me, there’s a valuable difference between stop-motion as an art form and digital,” del Toro says over shots of filmmakers moving the figurines of Pinocchio, Geppetto and Sepastian J. Cricket. “Stop-motion in the early days when you have the flicker of fur and fabric, even the atmospheric dust on the sets and the imperfection of it was so gorgeous to look at because it told you how the thing was done.“
He continued: “I really wanted this movie to land in a way that had the expressiveness and the material nature of a handmade piece of animation and artisanal, beautiful exercise in carving, painting, sculpting,” del Toro continued. “But it had the sophistication of movement that research on rigs and puppetry have taken us to.”
The director also demonstrated the different sizes of puppets used in his upcoming retelling of the classic Italian story, indicating a big head of Pinocchio used with the smaller model of Sebastian J. Cricket. He also pulled out quite a miniature figurine of the wooden puppet at the heart of the story, laughing both times.
“In terms of scale, we use different sizes of puppets for different needs,” he explained. “This is our Pinocchio to interact with the cricket. In order for him to be the right size, we need the cricket and the shoulder of Pinocchio talking to him, whispering in his ear, laying close to him, and so we use this small cricket. And then in certain shots, we use this small Pinocchio.”
“Pinocchio is a tale that has lived through the centuries,” del Toro concludes in the special Netflix featurette. “A fable very close to my heart, and we are very sure that this incarnation is a particularly beautiful one.”
Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” debuts in select theaters in November and premieres on Netflix in December.