Geppetto, brought to life by the voice of David Bradley, carries the most painful and deep mourning on his back. So much so that the first minutes of Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toronow available on Netflix, are a substantial tour of suffering.
The carpenter who lost his son and now tries to find redemption is surrounded by darkness. So the aesthetic of Mark Gustafson’s animation has something lyrical in all its slightly sinister beauty. Also very different from the one that Disney+ proposed to us just a few months ago with its own version. live action of pinocchio and that, broadly speaking, it was exactly the same as the original 1940 film.
But it is precisely that space between light and shadow that makes this adaptation of the story by Carlo Collodi a small work of art about suffering. Also an elegant journey through emotions, magic and mystery.
Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro
In one of the most extraordinary points of Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro, the director manages to turn this friendly fable into a reflection on the pain of violence. To do it without compromising the integrity of the story and, much less, its status as a children’s story. The plot, based on a script by the Mexican director himself and Patrick McHale, analyzes the world that welcomes Pinocchio from danger. So, this boy, who dreams of pleasing his father and becoming real, must simultaneously deal with the deep suffering of his country. Both things combined take beauty to another layer, the substratum of the sensitive and, in the end, the mourning for what has been lost.
Once upon a time there was a ghoulish wooden boy
Guillermo del Toro, famous for humanizing monsters, this time builds a fable about longings, which becomes a moving form of fleeting consolation. But that does not diminish his sophisticated vision of the sinister, the singular and, in particular, the intangible. good part of Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro it is based on the inexplicable quality of miracles as a supernatural event unrelated to the divine.
As singular as it may seem, the proviso relates to the production with the folk horror. Pinocchio, who both in the story and in the best-known Disney versions is the result of a spiritual desire for profound nobility, this time is the result of anguish. Also the search for an explanation of the unknown.
“Is death the last thing that waits for us or is there something else?” laments the carpenter. Shortly after he will find the tiny tree next to the grave of his son that will allow him consolation. There is no transit between the question, more gloomy than emotional, and the small —in sinister appearance— prodigy of the arrival of his unnatural son into the world.
Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro It is a story of magic with dark overtones
Of course, for del Toro, Pinocchio was a challenge of language and concept. The story, which this year received another adaptation by Robert Zemeckis, is a metaphor for suffering. One told in so many different ways and perspectives, that it is almost impossible to add a new element. But the Mexican filmmaker does it. Not only does it incorporate the condition of fear, time and mourning as part of a supernatural event, naive but with gloomy overtones.
Also, it mixes the naivety of Pinocchio — a creature who does not fully understand his origin — with the perception of existence itself. “How am I alive?”, wonders the recently carved doll in Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro. Geppetto is silent and the brief space, the small shades of color that surround him, diminish until they become shadows. The same is true when Wood Sprite (Tilda Swinton) hears the Lone Carpenter’s plea.
It is not a vision about “a desire of the heart”, which would equate the script to the Disney versions. The desire of the heartbroken father is sustained on the conception of the impossible, of the abyss of anguish. But, especially, the sophisticated search for a certain disturbing and well-constructed element on the dangerous limit of dark desires.
But also an ode to beauty
Despite its endearing, exquisite and, of course, moving quality, Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro he gets as far away from the innocence of his film versions as possible. Which brings it much closer to the literary original, from which it inherits a curious density and also a powerful exploration of suffering.
“What is human pain but broken memories?” says Wood Sprite, in an almost terrifying whisper. For the force of nature that he embodies, sustains, constructs and metaphorizes, the voice in the dark is an enigmatic presence. One that understands the pain of the father and, also, the importance of the creature to which he will breathe life.
From Geppetto’s desperate desire to get his son back, to the magic that sustains the wooden creature that impersonates him. Slowly, Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro It advances to completely unknown regions of the original narrative and is sustained in an impeccable perception about the mysterious.
Del Toro doesn’t create one of his lovable and often disturbing monsters through Pinocchio, but he does infuse it with the same quality of the impossible and startling. “What is it like to be a real child?” she wonders, dazed and bewildered, innocence turned into a form of existence. “I’m not, then?”
The pain of violence as a scene of Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro
Sebastien J. Cricket (Ewan McGregor) is, of course, the narrator. But, instead of Jiminy Cricket becoming a clumsy conscience, this time he is a privileged witness of an intense journey through life experiences. Pinocchio, who was born from a painful desire, must learn the meaning of what the world awaits. What also includes a new scenario for the entire story. Contextualized in Mussolini’s Italy, the political background is linked to the way in which the wooden boy discovers the meaning of morality and freedom.
In perhaps one of the most extraordinary points of Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro, Del Toro manages to turn this kind fable into a reflection on the pains of violence. And he does it without compromising the integrity of the story, let alone its status as a children’s story. The plot, based on a script by the Mexican director himself and Patrick McHale, analyzes the world that welcomes Pinocchio from danger.
So, this boy, who dreams of pleasing his father and becoming real, must also deal with the deep suffering of a country. Both things combined take beauty to another layer, the substratum of the sensitive and, in the end, the mourning for what has been lost. “You cannot imagine how beautiful this country was,” Geppetto laments in one of the hardest points of Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro.
In the end, Pinocchio is an atypical, delicate work built to amaze, move and elevate reflection on the search for happiness to a new level. A talented achievement that links the story with its extraordinary visual section to create, perhaps, one of the best animations of the year.