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Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio Gets December Release: Watch The Debut Teaser

Guillermo del Toro
is one live-action filmmaker whose sensibilities seem particularly well suited to animation. The Oscar-winner creates ornate fantasy worlds in films such as Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy and The Shape Of Water and often takes inspiration from animation (most notably in Pacific Rim).

Del Toro has worked with DreamWorks Animation, serving as a creative consultant or executive producer on several of their films. He also co-created the Tales Of Arcadia series for DWA and Netflix and was a producer on fellow Mexican Jorge Guiterrez's debut feature The Book Of Life.

Lined up for his first animated feature for a long time was a stop-motion adaptation of Pinocchio, a darker spin on the classic tale most famously adapted at the 1940 Walt Disney animation. It was first announced way back in 2008 when GDT said "no art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio."  It was originally set to be directed by Mark Gustafson and Gris Grimly but del Toto later steeped in and replace Grimly. Despite generating a lot of excitement, the project went quiet for a long time with no updates, until it was announced in 2017 it had been cancelled as no studio was willing to finance it.

Then in 2018 the project came back from the dead after Netflix stepped in and picked up the project. Now, after all this time the first teaser trailer has arrived, and with it the confirmation that the film will be released in December of 2022.

The teaser shows us very little, but introduced us to the character of Pinocchio's companion/conscious Sebastian J Cricket,  voiced by Ewan McGregor.  Del Toro's take on the story relocates the film from the 1800s to 1930s Italy under the rule of Fascist dictator Mussolini.  The screenplay is written by del Toto,  Patrick McHale (Over The Garden Wall) and Matthew Robins and is produced by The Jim Henson Company Necropia Entertainment and Shadow Machine for Netflix.

The film will also star David Bradley, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman and Tilda Swinson with newcomer Gregory Mann as Pinocchio.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio joins an impressive library of upcoming stop-motion films that also includes Henry Selick's Wendell and Wild and two new projects from Aardman Animation.

Check out the trailer, below.