Guillermo del Toro is known for running a theme of fascism in some of his films, and Pinocchio is no different. At an event held by Netflix (via The Hollywood Reporter), the filmmaker explained this dark backdrop for his stop-motion adaption of the classic character and story.
Fans of Guillermo del Toro, you may have seen how fascism has been tackled in his other work. Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone both tackle it with the Spanish Civil War as the setting. The former film was set after the war; meanwhile, the latter was set during the war. Keeping up with this thoughtful approach, he will set his animation directorial debut in Benito Mussolini’s Italy, the man who led the National Fascist Party.
“The three movies are to do with childhood coming up against something that has to do with war and violence,” he said. “I think for me, it’s always been the movies about fatherhood and being a father or being a son, and I think in those iterations, fascism seems to be concerned with a father figure of a different kind, and the desire to deliver ourselves to a father that unifies though.”
Guillermo del Toro explains the fascism theme for upcoming Pinocchio movie
The Netflix collaboration with Guillermo del Toro to tackle fascism in Pinocchio is not the only story told this year with the character. Disney had its twist that was less grim, with an equal amount of talent behind it, despite its poor reception. The live-action take was directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump). It starred Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (The Haunting of Bly Manor). It is not often that the same IP is adapted in the same year by two different forces, so it should be interesting to see which comes out victorious.
Later this year, we have Guillermo del Toro delivers his darker take with a fascism backdrop. He directed with Mark Gustafson, making his feature-length directorial debut. It has a loaded cast with Gregory Mann (Vitoria), Ewan McGregor, Finn Wolfhard, Ron Perlman, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), Burn Gorman (Halo), and David Bradley (Game of Thrones). The film hits select theaters in November with a December 9 release on Netflix.