This isn’t your Disney’s Pinocchio.
Netflix has released the first look at the long-gestating production of Guillermo del Toro‘s stop-motion animation retelling of the classic fable about a wooden toy who wants to become a real boy.
While this first tease is minus a reveal of the title character, it serves as an introduction to Sebastian J. Cricket, a.k.a. Jiminy Cricket. Voiced by Ewan McGregor, this Cricket is more a more biologically literal interpretation of the insect than Walt Disney’s tux-and-top hat wearing sidekick (save, of course, for his basic anthropomorphic traits like talking).
The setup is simple: this isn’t the story you’re expecting.
With little more than that revealed, the most meaningful part of this brief clip is seeing the stop-motion aesthetic itself along with the tone, which feels more whimsical and less dark than one might expect from del Toro.
Gregory Mann and David Bradley star, respectively, as the voices of Pinocchio and Geppetto. The rest of the voice cast includes Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, Burn Gorman, Christoph Waltz and Tilda Swinton.
Set in 1930s fascist Italy, del Toro described his approach as follows:
- “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.”
Marking his first collaboration with mega-streamer Netflix, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio will launch worldwide in December 2022.
Currently, Disney’s live-action remake — starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto and directed by Forrest Gump helmer Robert Zemeckis — is slated to be released exclusively on Disney Plus in the final quarter of 2022, so it may beat del Toro’s to the punch in this surprising Pinocchio streaming war.