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Pinocchio Director Guillermo Del Toro's Sacred Sunday Ritual Is Building Model Kits

Everyone has a hobby that helps them unwind, whether it's watching television shows, baking, putting ships in bottles, or playing basketball. Famous directors are no exception to the rule: they're collectors, sports fans, writers, and readers just like you and I.

In Oscar-winning director-writer Guillermo del Toro's case, his hobby is modelmaking. His films — which range from the romantic and highly visual "The Shape of Water" to the sprawling spectacle of his "Hellboy" series — highlight the director's detail-orientated techniques in a way that makes his love of the delicate art of constructing model kits understandable. Whether it's producing miniaturized versions of filmland monsters, tanks, and other assorted objects and figures, he so loves models that his latest film, "Pinocchio," is a tribute to the art of puppetry, a stop-motion animation festival for the eyes and ears. 

Recently, del Toro gave fans the lowdown regarding his love of stop-motion animation and modelmaking and how they both have inspired his career moves and helped him relax during his off-hours.

Guillermo del Toro loves Claymation

Recently, Looper attended the Animation Is Film Festival, which hosted a special screening of Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio" as well as a Q&A between del Toro and Phil Tippett. During the conversation, del Toro waxed about his love of model kits and stop-motion animation, both of which have become a passion for him. "My sacred ritual is like, do[ing] model kits," he said. "I paint them and assemble them." He explains that every Sunday, he constructs a fresh model kit and that when one enters his home, they are confronted by several monsters, vehicles, or tanks.

The director also hand-crafted and painted his own puppets to use for his Super-8 shorts as a youth. "My first Super-8 [was] real crappy Claymation." He then explained that he was planning on doing a Claymation-centered feature before he began his first film, "Cronos." Unfortunately, his workshop was burglarized. "The burglars, they didn't find anything, so they destroyed all the puppets that we built over the years," he said.

The tragic incident definitely didn't stop the director, who has finally gotten the chance to direct the stop-motion animated feature of his dreams. Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio" is already receiving positive reviews and will be released on Netflix on December 9.