Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Pinocchio Scene That Took Guillermo Del Toro Nearly 4 Months To Complete

When one thinks of Pinocchio, a specific image of the character likely springs to mind: a brown hat, yellow shirt, red shorts, blue bow, and an ear-to-ear smile. 1940's "Pinocchio" from Disney has become the mainstream interpretation of author Carlo Collodi's little wooden boy who has dreams of becoming human. This was further hammered home thanks to the 2022 reinterpretation of the 1940 feature, which premiered on the Disney+ streaming service in early September. However, those adaptations are hardly the only Pinocchio tales out there, and new takes on Collodi's centuries-old creation aren't going to disappear any time soon.

The next reimagining of "The Adventures of Pinocchio" is set to arrive on Netflix in the form of "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" — a film Rotten Tomatoes critics seem to love. Directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson, this film takes on a darker, less squeaky-clean approach than what most expect, and in doing so, it actually sticks closer to Collodi's original writings. The film centers on a more mischievous Pinocchio (Gregory Mann) than we're accustomed to seeing, and when it comes to his physical appearance, he's even more of a departure from Disney's rendering. In fact, he looks more like a wooden child than he does in most pieces of "Pinocchio" media.

To bring its unique aesthetic to life, "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" was created using stop-motion animation — a tedious method that eats up quite a lot of time. One shot alone took nearly four months for the team to put together.

A single circus shot became a mammoth undertaking

Ahead of the premiere of "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" on Netflix, del Toro and Mark Gustafson spoke with Collider about their latest creation. During the chat, they revealed that a scene involving Spazzatura the monkey (Cate Blanchett) at a circus took almost four whole months to animate properly. "It was a oner, and it was a long shot, and there were lots of puppets involved, lots of choreography, lots of action...It took us about two and a half months to set it up. And it took about a month to shoot," Gustafson explained, with del Toro mentioning that keeping the movements of the puppets as well as the camera natural was incredibly important.

If that's not proof that stop-motion is a difficult medium to master, then who knows what is? Thankfully, del Toro, Gustafson, and the rest of the "Pinocchio" team were able to work through the hardships of this method of animation to create something visually stunning. For a while, some wondered if the film would ever come to fruition, seeing as it was announced back in 2008 and swiftly fell into development limbo within a few short years. Following a 2012 update, news on the project went largely radio silent until the mid-2010s, and from that point on, it slowly picked up steam to go from a twinkle in del Toro's eye to a fully-realized movie.

"Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" — a true labor of love and patience — will premiere on Netflix on December 9, 2022.