Netflix has just released its first theatrical trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming stop-animation film Pinocchio. 15 years of work has gone into the project, and it really shows. The artistry of the character design alone is enough to make this writer eager for more.
Starring Ewan McGregor (who narrates the trailer) as Cricket, David Bradley as Geppetto, and Gregory Mann as Pinocchio, the new project looks set to be a dark and whimsical affair. Del Toro is best known for films such as The Shape Of Water, Crimson Peak and Pan’s Labyrinth. Although he served as a writer on the 2021 animation Trollhunters: Rise Of The Titans, this is the first stop-motion film the Mexican filmmaker has helped direct.
This first trailer sees Ewan Mcgregor recount the familiar tale of Geppetto and the wooden boy he creates and names Pinnochio. However, as Cricket makes clear, while you “may think you know this story,” there’s far more to it than you would expect.
Pinocchio’s gothic aesthetics are evocative of films like Coraline and Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride, hinting toward more sinister subject matter than fans of Disney’s original Pinocchio will be used to. At the same time, there’s something distinctly heartwarming about the character’s crumpled faces, which, coupled with the accordion-based soundtrack, suggest del Toro’s commitment to delivering a cosy, family-friendly film just in time for Christmas.
The titular role will be voiced by newcomer Gregory Mann and will also star Tilda Swinton as the Fairy, Christoph Waltz as the Fox and Cat, Cate Blanchett, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro, Finn Wolfhard, and long-time del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman.
Del Toro’s new adaptation will have to compete with Disney’s brand new live-action version of Pinocchio, which premiers in theatres this September. It’ll be interesting to see which comes out on top, especially considering both films have been described as musicals and deal with much the same subject matter. But I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see. Make sure you check out the trailer below if you haven’t already.