The first look at Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion musical adaptation of Pinocchio starts as all good stories do: With a dapper, accented narrator telling a story to a viewer by candlelight. In this case we have a cricket named Sebastian J. Cricket voiced by Ewan McGregor.
According to Mr. Cricket, he’s got a tale we all think we know, but don’t. The elderly, mustachioed, and wise cricket knows all about this adventure because as it is revealed at the end, he himself “lived, actually lived, in the heart of the wooden boy.” The teaser offers a glimpse at the whimsical and quite beautiful stop-motion animation fitted for the film.
Mark Gustafson, who served as the animation director for Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, joins del Toro as co-director, working from the screenplay written by del Toro and Patrick McHale. Based on the original classic story by Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio of course tells the tale of a wooden puppet boy who becomes a “real boy” in order to mend the heart of a grieving carver named Geppetto.
The star-studded cast features McGregor as Cricket, David Bradley as Geppetto, and newcomer Gregory Mann as Pinocchio. The rest of the cast includes Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, Burn Gorman, with Christoph Waltz and Tilda Swinton.
“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio,” del Toro said in a statement in 2018. “In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.”
Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is set to arrive on Netflix in December 2022.