Pinocchio enlisted by Hitler Youth in Guillermo del Toro’s version
pinocchio enlisted by hitler youth in guillermo del toro’s version

Pinocchio enlisted by Hitler Youth in Guillermo del Toro’s version

Guillermo del Toro and his toy

Guillermo del Toro and his toy Photo: (Netflix)

Pinocchio, the timeless tale of a sad, virgin carpenter who has to resort to building a wooden child because he never fathered one of his own, is getting an update courtesy of Guillermo del Toro. And he’s really going for it. Rather than simply remake Disney’s classic 1940 film, del Toro’s enlisted everyone’s favorite Italian puppet in the Opera Nazionale Balilla, the Italian fascist youth organization that started after World War I.

“He is recruited into the village military camp, because the fascist official in town thinks if this puppet cannot die, it would make the perfect soldier,” del Toro told Vanity Fair. Glorious. Simply glorious. We’d expect nothing more from the guy who won an Academy Award for Best Picture for his woman bangs Creature From The Black Lagoon movie.

Del Toro’s stop-motion adaptation takes place in pre-World War II Italy as fascism starts to rise. So why does this version turn Pinocchio into “the perfect soldier” while Disney painstakingly and unnecessarily recreates the colors and textures of a movie they made nearly 100 years ago? Ultimately, del Toros says, his film “couldn’t be more different than any other version of Pinocchio in our spiritual or philosophical goals.” And also, because del Toro sees a kinship between Pinocchio and Frankenstein.

“They are both about a child that is thrown into the world. They are both created by a father who then expects them to figure out what’s good, what’s bad, the ethics, the morals, love, life, and essentials, on their own. I think that was, for me, childhood. You had to figure it out with your very limited experience.”

The film also aims its cruel lens on Geppetto (Game Of Thrones’ David Bradley) and Jiminy Cricket, named Sebastian (voiced by Ewan McGregor) in del Toro’s film. According to del Toro, as a child, he loved how “the cricket keeps getting killed over and over again and crushed and maimed,” so that’ll happen in the movie, too. Meanwhile, our favorite Italian carpenter carves our wooden boy out of the tree that grew from his dead son’s grave. Repeat after us: “One ticket to Pinocchio, please.”

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Nevertheless, the director believes that this family-friendly film is for “children and adults that talk to each other.”

“These are times that demand from kids a complexity that is tremendous. Far more daunting, I think, than when I was a child. Kids need answers and reassurances.” Perhaps those kids will be asking their parents, “Mommy, why does the cricket have to die?”

Check out some incredible pictures from the film at Vanity Fair. Seriously, this thing looks gorgeous.

Pinocchio turns into a real movie this December on Netflix.

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