Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a 2022 stop-motion animated Netflix movie that is an adaptation of the Disney movie of the same name with some minor differences. It is a story of love and disobedience, as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations, learning the true meaning of life while making mistakes.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a dark parallel to the live action version for many reasons. Compared to the 2022 Disney movie, this version of Pinocchio includes the historic context of the rise of fascism in Mussolini’s Italy. Pinocchio is a colored puppet with fair skin, black hair, and blue eyes and is considered a dynamic protagonist who changes throughout the film. However, this version of Pinocchio is considered to be dull among some viewers, as the wooden puppet itself lacks any color. In addition, Jiminy Cricket is still a supporting character who talks to the viewers about how he helps Pinocchio become a real boy, but in this version, he is renamed Sebastian J. Cricket, and looks nothing like the traditional Jiminy Cricket in other Disney adaptations . Finally, dark themes such as death by burning and the afterlife are emphasized heavily in this adaptation.
One unique feature in this adaptation is the dark elements. In the Disney movie, Pinocchio learns from his mistakes and is given another chance. However, in this adaptation, he is considered immortal. Fire is a symbolic element in this adaptation, symbolizing death. The dark elements presented in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio emphasize tragic moments compared to the positive messages in the Disney movie. Jiminy Cricket becomes Pinocchio’s guide in the Disney movie, but Pinocchio’s father, Geppetto, acts as his guide in this adaptation. Pinocchio does not die immediately in the Disney version, but in this adaptation, he is killed by a truck. Sebastian J. Cricket breaks the fourth wall in the end when he reveals he was reading the story of Pinocchio in a book, like Jiminy Cricket in the Disney version.
Though this adaptation of Pinocchio received positive reviews for embracing the film’s darkness, viewers see that there is no major representation of women or people of color in this adaptation, thus reducing the inclusivity. This version will please fans of Guillermo Del Toro, or anyone who enjoys exploration of darker themes that are often the origin of so-called children’s fairy tales.