Last Shot: Pinocchio Celebrates 140th Birthday!

It’s a story you might think you’re familiar with, but you’re in for a fresh take in Guillermo del Toro’s latest adaptation of Pinocchio, co-produced by Netflix. Del Toro adds his artistic twist with stop-motion wooden characters and a darker narrative, set against the backdrop of war-torn Italy during Mussolini’s era. This version of Pinocchio also pushes the boundaries of animation.

The enduring tale of Pinocchio dates back to 1883, when Italian writer Carlo Collodi introduced the story of a wood carver’s wish for his puppet creation to become a real boy, long nose and all. The Blue Fairy grants this wish, and Pinocchio embarks on a journey to discover the complexities of the world. The story’s timeless appeal lies in its exploration of themes such as parenting, middle-class values, universal appeal, morality, and capitalism. It’s no surprise that there have been numerous adaptations over the years, and Del Toro had contemplated his unique version for quite some time.

Among the many adaptations, the 1940 animated version by Walt Disney stands out as one of the greatest animated films ever made. It holds the distinction of being the first animated feature to win an Academy Award, receiving accolades for Best Original Song (“When You Wish Upon A Star”) and Best Original Score. The film’s animation techniques were groundbreaking at the time, providing a sense of realistic motion to both machinery and natural elements like rain and lightning. The effects animation team, led by legendary artist Josh Meador, played a pivotal role in achieving this feat, with Meador later becoming the Director of Animation Effects at Walt Disney Studios.

Walt Disney’s Pinocchio was a triumph of artistic ambition, setting a standard for hand-drawn and CG animation that is still followed today. It not only established Disney Feature Animation as a creative powerhouse but also a commercial success. Now, it’s Guillermo del Toro’s turn to elevate this classic story to new heights.

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