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Guillermo Del Toro Believes His Pinocchio Is Great For Family Viewing

Guillermo del Toro's latest film, a stop-motion adaptation of "Pinocchio," released on Netflix December 9, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive for the innovative director's take on the story. As of this writing, the film currently has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a ton of praise for the visuals and darker, more serious tone compared to other adaptations. In fact, del Toro's film dives deep into more adult themes that are common for the visionary director, like death and the horrors of fascism.

"Pinocchio" takes place between World War I and World War II, with the rise of Mussolini and fascism in Italy serving as a backdrop to the standard story of a wooden boy coming to life. There's even a section of the film that sees Pinocchio (Gregory Man) forcibly recruited and relocated to a training camp for young boys to become soldiers. Obviously, these are heavy scenes with a lot of darkness to them, but according to del Toro, they can still be enjoyed by the whole family.

Del Toro believes that his Pinocchio is no more dark than classic Disney films

During a recent interview with TheWrap, "Pinocchio" director and co-writer Guillermo del Toro discussed his belief that despite his film being thematically heavy, it can be enjoyed by families and children. Elaborating further on this point, he believes that his film is no more heavy or dark than a classic Disney movie, and it was important for him to explore these topics because it lets audiences see the good things more clearly.

"The second conversation is that there is absolutely nothing in this movie that is unacceptable for an audience to watch in family environments," del Toro said. "It's a movie that is going to prompt questions, but there is no more darkness in this film than in the classical Disney films. You need darkness to render light ... In the most susceptible cases, it will need dialogue to talk about life and death and so forth, but I feel extremely happy to say that the many times we have seen it with an audience, kids seem to react with great curiosity and love."

Del Toro also stressed during the interview that he believes animated films shouldn't inherently be thought of as children's films because it's just another medium to tell interesting stories rather than a genre. Still, it's clear he believes that any sort of argument that "Pinocchio" is too dark for children is untrue. Of course, at the end of the day, it will be up to parents to decide what's best for their children, but it's a bit refreshing that there are directors out there like del Toro who are willing to make narratively heavy animated films that can be viewed and appreciated by a younger audience.