'Animation is Art, Animation is Film': Guillermo del Toro explains why his Pinocchio is more than just a children's tale

    "Animation is not a genre just for kids. Animation is art. Animation is film," says Guillermo del Toro about his newly released "Pinocchio" film. In a candid interview on The Tonight Show, del Toro opens up about the intense emotional journey, the depth of his characters, and why he thinks animation is an art form on par with live action.

    Guillermo del Toro (Source: Netflix)

    Guillermo del Toro (Source: Netflix)

    Animation is Not Just for Kids. It's Art": Guillermo del Toro Breaks Down His Unique Take on 'Pinocchio'

    When Guillermo del Toro sat down with Jimmy Fallon on December 7, 2022, he had more to share than just the mechanics of his stop-motion animated masterpiece, "Pinocchio." The acclaimed filmmaker was also there to make a profound statement: "Animation is not a genre just for kids. Animation is art. Animation is film."

    A Doctorate from the Largest University in Latin America

    For many, Guillermo del Toro is more than a filmmaker—he's a storyteller with academic credentials to boot. "The best, the largest, the most famous university in Latin America. National University of Mexico," he said, referencing the institution that awarded him an honorary doctorate. But despite his educational accolades, it's clear that del Toro's true passion lies in the cinematic world.

    From Super 8 to Stop-Motion – A Journey Through Guillermo's Childhood

    Guillermo del Toro's early creative endeavors were inspired by the Super 8 camera his father received as a down payment at his car dealership. The director recalls making his first movies with this very camera. "I started doing Super 8 movies with that," he reminisced, recounting a clay animation film he made about a serial-killer potato that became sentient and set out to conquer the world. This was perhaps a playful foreshadowing of his future career.

    Guillermo's Unique Take on Pinocchio and Its Stop-Motion Artistry

    Del Toro's interest in stop-motion animation began early, but with "Pinocchio," he took it to another level. "The idea is for them to become actors," he said about the puppets used in the movie. These aren't your average puppets; they're mechanical marvels with a level of detail akin to a Swiss watch. "Each of these is more expensive than a Hyundai," del Toro mentioned.

    Guillermo del Toro (Source: Netflix)

    "If You Animate the Ordinary, It Will Be Extraordinar

    Del Toro shared an influential quote from the legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki: "If you animate the ordinary, it will be extraordinary." This notion has heavily influenced del Toro's approach to "Pinocchio," where he focused on imbuing the characters with human-like mistakes and nuances.

    The Role of Emotion and Light in Guillermo's "Pinocchio"

    "It's incredibly emotional, full of light," del Toro said, rebutting those who call his version of "Pinocchio" dark. For him, the movie is a triumph of emotional storytelling, focusing on the evolving relationship between Pinocchio and Geppetto. The filmmaker believes that embracing both light and darkness makes for a more compelling narrative. 

    A Tribute to His Mother and an Ode to Humanity

    Del Toro's late mother played a significant role in the movie. She always gifted him wooden Pinocchios and knew about his desire to adapt the tale. "I still feel her in there," he said, touching on the emotional depth of the film. It's not just a story of Pinocchio learning to be a real boy, but also of Geppetto evolving into a real father.

    Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' (2022) (Source: IMDB)


    From his early years tinkering with a Super 8 camera to crafting a stop-motion masterpiece, Guillermo del Toro has always been more than just a filmmaker. In his version of "Pinocchio," he not only explores the boundaries of what animation can be but also delivers an emotional, thought-provoking narrative. It's a tale not just for children, but for anyone who appreciates the art of storytelling. 

    (Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)