Guillermo del Toro brings “Pinocchio” to life, one image at a time

In an ordinary apartment building in Portland, Oregon, a dream has come true. There, a small army of animators worked for months on exquisitely crafted puppets: bending them, posing them, hand-shaping them and bringing them to life, for the stop-motion animated feature, “Pinocchio “. The new Netflix film is the vision of Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro. “We want you to go to the cinema and see a handmade movie, a movie made by humans, to the highest degree,” he said.

“And you can feel it,” said correspondent Tracy Smith.

“You can feel it. I am moved by this. »

“It’s moving. It takes you to the guts, to the heart. »

“It’s a big belly. And it takes me. So, that’s a big feeling! del Toro burst out laughing.

Stop-motion animators work to bring Guillermo del Toro’s version of “Pinocchio” to the screen. CBS News

Say the name “Pinocchio” and many people think of the 1940 Disney film: a well-crafted story with a relentlessly happy ending. But the original Adventures of Pinocchio, first published in the 1880s by Carlo Collodi, was a very different story. There was a puppet whose nose grew when he lied, but there were also much darker themes, like death.

Del Toro’s vision was even less kid-friendly, so it took over a decade to get the green light from a studio.

Smith asked, “You said there was a lot of pain in all of this. What was the most painful part? »

“Well, either you do the movie the right way, or it’s almost as good not to do it,” he replied. “When you’ve designed the whole world, and you’ve scripted it, and you’ve got a great script, and you know what it could be, and people keep saying ‘no’, that’s really hard. And then it gets harder when they say ‘yes.’ Because now you have to deliver everything! »

Director Guillermo del Toro. CBS News

And the “everything” has been called a stop-motion masterpiece.

But getting there was almost incredibly difficult. To create fluid, human-like movements, the animators had to move the puppets 24 times for every second of film. “Stop motion is like milking a mummified cow,” del Toro said. “You get, like, a drop after two hours of work. You know you get a few seconds [of footage] one day if you’re lucky. »

To meet the needs of stop motion animation, 60 scenes, cameras and crews were running at the same time. netflix

At just two seconds a day, it would take forever to make a feature film, so the filmmakers used more than one soundstage…much more. Sixty scenes, 60 cameras, 60 sets, all shot at the same time.

At the start of del Toro’s film, Gepetto is the father of a living, breathing boy who tragically dies at the age of ten. One night, in a fit of drunken desperation, Gepetto carves a boy out of wood, and when he wakes up the next morning he sees this:

It’s alive! Excerpt from “Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro”. netflix

Del Toro’s Pinocchio looks more like Frankenstein’s creature than a cartoon character, but that detail – like all of Guillermo del Toro’s creations – is intentional.

Growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico, young Guillermo loved monsters, movies, and not much else. He says he identified with Pinocchio because he felt the same as a child – not being part of the group. “I was a boy growing up in Mexico, and everyone was very physical, everyone played sports, everyone wanted to walk in the forest. And I didn’t. As you can obviously see, I’m not into sports, even And I’m not walking in the forest. I will walk to a bookstore. But I was an introvert. And I was an observer. And I always felt uncomfortable with who everyone wanted me to be.

Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro. New line cinema

He eventually found his niche as a director whose creations could be chilling, like 2006’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” and hauntingly sweet, like “The Shape of Water,” about a lonely janitor who falls in love with a humanoid amphibian. The movie was weird, wonderful, and a winner. It won the Best Picture Oscar and del Toro won Best Director. In his acceptance speech, he paraphrased James Cagney of “Yankee Doodle Dandy”: “My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my brothers and sisters thank you and I thank you. »

But for Guillermo del Toro, “Pinocchio” has been a lifelong passion project, ever since his mother started giving him Pinocchio dolls as a child.

Smith asked, “How excited was she to see this movie come to fruition? »

“She was very excited,” he replied.

However, Guadalupe Gomez died in October, just a month before the film was released. “In a way, it was painful,” del Toro said, “but in another way, I knew she was there. And then she was there with us when we first showed the film. I have felt it. I was walking down a hallway. And I was going to turn a corner. And I was sure she was going to be there. And I just had this kind of thing. She was not. But I felt it. »

Safe to say she’d be proud: The Academy might still be knocking on the door. “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” was considered a nominee not only for Best Animated Feature, but for Best Picture.

And according to del Toro, that’s not much of a stretch. “It’s harder in a lot of ways than live action,” he said. “I remember Ginger Rogers saying, ‘I do the same things as Fred but in reverse with high heels.’ And it’s stop motion. We do the same as live action, just upside down and in high heels! »

Puppet designs for “Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro”. CBS News

And we can say that the result is the same: a beautiful dance.

Smith asked, “When you give yourself a moment to step back and look at this, after everything that’s happened there, how do you feel?” »

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, we were crazy. How the hell did I think we could do this? he replied. “It’s like being seven years old and playing with the most elaborate dollhouse in the world. And you do it one frame at a time. That’s wonderful. And it’s almost breathtaking. »

“Does that take your breath away? »

” Yes. That’s why I’m wheezing! ” he’s laughing.

To see a trailer for “Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro”, click on the video player below:

PINOCCHIO BY GUILLERMO DEL TORO | Official trailer | Netflix by Netflix on YouTube

For more information:

Story produced by John D’Amelio. Publisher: Ed Givnish.

See also:

Pinocchio’s Birthplace 04:31 More

Source: www.cbsnews.com


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