With Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio making its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on Saturday (October 15), the first reviews and reactions from critics and viewers have started to slowly roll in over the last few days. So far, things are looking very good.
Del Toro’s animated version follows closer to the original fairy tale novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio, written by Italian author Carlo Collodi in 1883. Although del Toro has created and written computer-animated Netflix shows like Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans and his Tales of Arcadia series, this is his first foray into stop-motion animation.
In the last nearly 140 years, the story of Pinocchio has been retold countless times for film, TV, and the stage. It was only last month that Disney released its live-action version of its original 1940 animated film. With his Pinocchio, however, del Toro has no interest in doing something somebody else has already done.
“I don’t want to retell the same story,” del Toro told Vanity Fair. “I want to tell it my way and in the way I understand the world.”
Based on the early responses on social media, it looks like del Toro might’ve created a new animated classic. “Guillermo Del Toro’s [Pinocchio] is nothing short of a masterpiece,” one reviewer wrote. “Simply sublime – my heart is still aching after watching it this morning and will for a long time.”
Another reviewer posted, “[Pinocchio] is without a string attached, the best film to feature the boy made from pine. The stop animation is flawless and this one gets dark, as expected from Del Toro.”
Yet another reviewer had nothing but praise for the film. “Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is a superb retelling of a classic that finally reaches the heights of the original tale,” he wrote. “It is a beautiful, layered, and melancholy film about life and loss, told through the eyes of a child who will never age. I loved it.”
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio will play at select theaters in November 2022 and begin streaming on Netflix on December 9, 2022.