Some of the incredible craftsmanship and hours of meticulous work devoted to creating Guillermo del Toro’s version of Pinocchio is on display in a stunning behind-the-scenes featurette released by Netflix on Saturday (September 23) during the TUDUM event.
Much of the footage taken on the set of the stop-motion animated film includes a time-lapse video where viewers can see the process of turning the inanimate characters into moving works of art.
“To me, there’s a valuable difference between stop-motion as an artform and digital,” del Toro explains in the video. “Stop motion in the early days…the imperfection of it was gorgeous to look at because it told you how the thing was done.”
In the footage, one of the production’s puppeteers is seen moving a character inch by inch to maneuver from one side of a landscape to another. With the time-lapse video, it takes a few seconds, but the process in real-life takes multiple hours depending on how complex each scene is.
“I really wanted this movie to land in a way that had the expressiveness and the material nature of a handmade animation – an artisanal, beautiful exercise in carving, painting, sculpting, but [also with] the sophistication of movement.”
Del Toro also shows viewers the different sizes of puppets he used to create scale in the film. For example, when Pinocchio (Gregory Mann) interacts with Sebastian J. Cricket (Ewan McGregor) in the film, a larger version of Pinocchio head is used, which is about as big as an oversized beach ball. For other scenes, a tiny version of Pinocchio is used that isn’t bigger than a paperclip.
“Pinocchio is a tale that has lived through the centuries,” del Toro said. “[It’s] a fable very close to my heart. We are very sure that this incarnation is a particularly beautiful one.”
Pinocchio is scheduled to be released at select theaters on November 25, 2022, before it begins to stream on Netflix on December 9, 2022.