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SYFY WIRE Pinocchio

Guillermo del Toro's darker 'Pinocchio' trailer reveals it's definitely not the Disney story

Guillermo del Toro has put his particular magical spin on a timeless tale.

By Matthew Jackson

No matter how familiar his source material might seem on any given project, Guillermo del Toro always finds a way to put his own spin on a story. Whether he's following the adventures of Hellboy or making a romantic homage to The Creature from the Black Lagoon, del Toro's perspective is always potent, and always shines through our preconceived notions about what we're about to see. 

When you hear the word Pinocchio, you almost definitely think of the 1940 animated film from Walt Disney Pictures, but this holiday season, del Toro is bringing his own unique perspective to bear on a new adaptation of Carlo Collodi's classic stories about a wooden boy and his adventures. Now, the full trailer for the film has finally arrived courtesy of Netflix, and it's very clear we're not about to see the Disney version play out yet again. 

Rendered in beautiful stop-motion with an all-star voice cast led by Ewan McGregor and David Bradley, del Toro's Pinocchio tells the story of a lonely woodcarver (Bradley), the wooden boy he makes to replace his own lost child, and the storytelling cricket (McGregor) who witnesses the entire strange tale. We'd previously seen images from the film, as well as a brief teaser that showcased McGregor's Sebastian J. Cricket writing down Pinocchio's story, but the new trailer is something else entirely, a truly dazzling look at the magical, and distinct, world that del Toro and his collaborators have made. 

Check it out below:

A passion project of del Toro's that the Oscar-winning filmmaker has been developing for years, Pinocchio finally landed at Netflix in 2018, and the auteur and company began work on the handmade, stop-motion feel of the entire story. Set in Fascist Italy in the 1930s, the film will be a clear departure from the Disney version in more ways than one, as co-writer Matthew Robbins told SYFY WIRE back in 2020. 

"[It's] Guillermo’s particular vision of what Pinocchio represents in a fallen world; that is just not there in the Disney version," Robbins explained. "It’s not depressing, it’s sort of a celebration of the anarchy of this kid. You know enough about Pinocchio to know that he does everything: He spends the money, gets fooled, runs off with the circus, he makes mistakes. Wherever he goes, he leaves chaos in his wake and he sails on."

What's perhaps made del Toro's Pinocchio even more interesting is the news that it will be playing almost side-by-side with yet another version of the story. In September, a few months before del Toro's film premieres, director Robert Zemeckis will release a live-action remake of the Disney version of the story, featuring Tom Hanks in the role of Geppetto. Then, as the holidays approach, we'll see del Toro's very different view of Pinocchio and his place in the world now. It'll be very interesting to compare and contrast both films, particularly since we know del Toro is aiming for something far removed from Disney's classic. 

Pinocchio arrives on Netflix this December. 

Looking for more fantasy adventures in the meantime? Check out the Harry Potter film series streaming now on Peacock.