Pinocchio, a Unique Experience in Stop Motion


Trinity Manzano, Staff Writer

Pinocchio, a beautiful representation of the original story and gorgeous animation was brought to life on the big screen. Streamed on Netflix, Pinnochio greeted the public on December 9, 2022.

 The film directors are Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson, who has worked on stop motion before. Created this brilliant movie based heavily on the book Pinocchio, written by Carlo Collodi, Patrick McHale adapted the screenplay. McHale is popular for his CartoonNetwork shows Over the Garden Wall. The film Pinocchio has big names like, Finn Wolfhard playing a small part and David Bradley being the wood crafter and father. 

Del Toro has been interested in making a Pinocchio movie for a long time,  knowing the Pinocchio story is public domain. 

The movie was pushed back multiple times and almost was denied by Netflix. Toro had to push for getting the film to be in stop motion as well, all of it being handmade. Mark Gustafson explains, “I worked on this film for about five years.”

“…I thought it would be interesting to [make a movie]. About becoming who you are, not transforming yourself for others. Which goes counter to the traditional take on Pinocchio. And also, can something that was never alive become human? And what makes us human,” del Toro stated.


This movie has many dark senses; The time is set in the 1930s in Italy. The movie is set during a time of strong religion and war. Even so, it doesn’t stop the movie from having its fantasy aspects. The fantasy aspects were also not taken away from the father and son relationship and deep messages. Even being silly at times because Pinocchio is unknowing of what is happening around him and the writer cricket that lives in Pinocchio’s “heart”, guides Pinocchio and his father

For me, the movie was very heartwarming and enjoyable to watch. The animators did an amazing job on the lighting and emotional moments. The protagonists feel more real because they make big mistakes that real people would make. Pinocchio feels like a real kid that is being forced by adults around him to change or are using him. Mark Gustafson even says, “I think, with Pinocchio, that I love the of it embodying any four-year-olds, that are balls of energy that nobody can control.” The villains in the story though unrememberable did their job of pushing the plot to get Pinocchio’s character along. The magical parts of the movie are really compelling and interesting to learn about in the story. 

The movie has a generally positive public opinion, having a rating of 7.7/10 on and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, doing way better than Disney’s live-action of Pinocchio. Also released in 2022, earned got a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes. Check out Del Toro’s Pinnochio; it’s a great movie to watch with family or friends.