Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio: Life’s Fantastic Journey

Pinocchio. -By Mauricio Vallejos

Undoubtedly, when one thinks about stories that have been told many times, we can clearly think of pinocchio, an endearing character from popular culture who has had multiple adaptations. Without going any further, this same year Disney made a forgettable new live action film with Tom Hanks, and in this context the beloved doll unable to lie without growing its nose comes into the hands of one of the most exalted filmmakers of this century.

There are specific characteristics that accompany an author, in some cases that can become a cliché, that is, repetitive elements in the works of an artist that can become tedious. But if in something Guillermo del Toro he stands out, it is in his very marked style, where although there are easily recognizable elements in several of his films, one always wants to see that on screen.

Del Toro himself tells that in his childhood he had a dream where a faun (mythological creature in the form of a goat man) tormented him, he promised him that if he left him alone he would bring him to life in our world. Undoubtedly, that promise was fulfilled, because in his filmography there are many films with fantastic characters, ghosts, vampires and other beings whose main facet is that they are never antagonists, a place reserved only for men.

Del Toro’s signature brand is bringing in supernatural beings to expose the real monsters that inhabit this world, which are nothing more than flesh and blood people. Hence films such as El espinazo del diablo (2001), La forma del agua (2017) and the monumental El laberinto del Fauno (2006) where there is a social order that functions as an antagonist in itself, in El Espinazo del diablo and El Pan’s Labyrinth is the Franco regime in Spain, and in The Shape of Water it is the McCarthyism prevailing in the United States of the 50s. And in turn, the material villains are operators of that system of domination.

In the new adaptation of Pinocchio we find a much more human account of the already known story, Gepetto is a carpenter who lost his son during a bombing raid in the First World War. A fact that sentimentally destroys him, plunging him into the worst of sadness, and in a fit of anger he creates a child’s doll. In this story there are no fairies but spirits that only very few cases get involved with humans, and that give life to the doll.

The tape is a journey of the characters towards maturity, which always starts from a decision made merely out of interest. This is the case of Gepetto, who creates Pinocchio out of anger and pain due to mourning, or Sebastian J. Grillo (who we know as Jiminy Cricket) who agrees to be the conscience of the protagonist just for prestige and to keep the house of the. It will be like this with other characters, who begin the story in one place, but mature towards discovering their real identities,

Del Toro’s hand can be clearly seen on the tape, which is first done in stopmotion animation, that is, handcrafted filmed frame by frame. The story takes place during Mussolini’s Italy, that is, once again we can see the social order as an antagonist itself, and the two main villains as its operators. The first is the owner of a puppet circus, a fan of the dictator, who seeks to exploit Pinocchio and the other is a political commissar of the regime who seeks to lead the protagonist to World War II.

The supernatural actor, who in this case is Pinocchio, manages from his innocence to expose the ills of society. He is a pure being, devoid of evil in a scenario of men who seek to deceive and others who promote the values ​​of violence and hatred among people, as is normal in del Toro’s cinema, a fantastic creature that exposes the true monstersyou.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio: Life’s Fantastic Journey