Once upon a time, there were two “Pinocchio” movies getting made, and the Guillermo del Toro version looked positively stunning.
On Tuesday, Netflix debuted a new teaser trailer for the Oscar winner’s upcoming stop-motion take on Carlo Collodi’s Italian folktale, co-directed with Mark Gustafson and co-written with Patrick McHale. Disney will bring a live-action remake of its well-loved 1940 classic to Disney+ on September 8, with star Tom Hanks as Geppetto and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth voicing Pinocchio.
But where that production seems to be clinging to the old (a teaser from last month revealed what very well could be another shot-for-shot remake à la the 2018 “Lion King“), “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” explicitly promises “a story you think you know, but you don’t.”
Ewan McGregor voices morally righteous insect-turned-narrator Sebastian J. Cricket, alongside newcomer Gregory Mann as Pinocchio and David Bradley as Geppetto. Rounding out the voice cast are Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, Burn Gorman, Christoph Waltz, and Tilda Swinton in a variety of roles set to expand the “Pinocchio” world as audiences know it.
A shorter teaser from January revealed Cricket actually lives inside of Pinocchio’s wooden heart for del Toro’s film. The new trailer includes more about the magical beings in Geppetto’s shadowy village, including an otherworldly take on the iconic Blue Fairy.
“From my many wanderings on this Earth, I had so much to say about imperfect fathers and imperfect sons, and about loss and love,” begins Cricket in the trailer. “I’ve learned that there are old spirits who rarely involve themselves in the human world. But, on occasion, they do.”
“I feel as though you’ve been here before: the wooden boy with the borrowed soul,” says an ethereal voice (who sounds like Swinton) in another scene. “Be his son. Fill his days with light.”
The visual feast credits art director Rob Desue, production designer Guy Davis, co-production designer Curt Enderle, director of photography Frank Passingham, editor Ralph Foster, and puppet supervisor Georgina Hayns. Alexandre Desplat, who won Best Original Score for “The Shape of Water,” composes. “Pinocchio” is produced by Del Toro, Gary Ungar, Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Lisa Henson.
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” will arrive in select theaters this November, and begins streaming on Netflix this December.