Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio
Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is an adult fairy tale

Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and award-winning stop-motion legend Mark Gustafson reimagine the classic Carlo Collodi tale of the fabled wooden boy in Netflix’s Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio. A whimsical tour de force, this version finds Pinocchio on an enchanted adventure that transcends worlds and reveals the life-giving power of love.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio takes place in Italy in the 1930s, during the Fascist era. The walls are lined with clergy, and the podestà is in charge of the town under the rule of the fascist hierarchy. The story is that Pinocchio was created by Geppetto, who had just lost a son and believed that this was a way to make up for it. Although Geppetto realizes that he cannot be the child who is no longer there, the priest and the fascist see Pinocchio as a “dissident” and a “freethinker.”

As the saying goes, “Whatever happens, happens.” “And then you are gone,” says Sebastian J. Cricket (Ewan McGregor), the cricket philosopher who is also a trusted friend of Pinocchio. Should this tone be present in a children’s movie? Is there a reason for it to be so severe? There is nothing wrong with that in Del Toro’s eyes. 

His version of this still-appealing fairy tale embraces life’s complex themes, such as losing a child and accepting death. In the end, it remains an appealing tale. Geppetto is also unable to love Pinocchio because of the unresolved loss he has suffered in the past. Inevitably, the living doll reminds him of Carlo. And so there are even more imperfect fathers and sons in the film.

Conceptually, it’s a unique product that brings together a magical film from a visual perspective, a significant novelty from a conceptual standpoint. This film is a dark fairy tale for adults.


Final Grade: A-


Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is available to stream on 9 December via Netflix

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