The road to Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio was a long and winding one. Loosely based on Carlo Collodi's 1883 story about a wooden puppet brought to life, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has spent more than 20 years trying to bring his own take on the fairy tale to the big screen. When he finally got the opportunity to execute his dream, it took another 1,000 shooting days to complete his vision.
"If all went according to plan, we would get about three seconds a week out of our animators," explained the film's co-director Mark Gustafson during an Academy-hosted Q&A for the movie, with del Toro adding, "But also, we worked with over 60 units at the same time, shooting consecutively."
During Sunday's 95th Oscars, Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. During the panel conversation, del Toro shared why animation — and especially stop-motion animation — holds such a special place in his heart.
"Animation can access a beauty and a truth that is not accessible in any other form of film," he said. "We can reach such pinnacles of purity, and beauty, and truth. And, at the same time, they are impossible in the real world. So, there is a sense of beauty, and loss, and truth all at the same time that is incredibly moving and powerful."
Del Toro continued, "Stop motion is the one animation art that is very parallel to live-action... But I think of stop motion as Ginger [Rogers] said about Fred Astaire. She said, 'I do what you do but backward and in high heels.' That's stop motion for you."
Watch the full Academy Conversation for more insight into the making of Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio from the filmmakers, as well as composer Alexandre Desplat, director of character fabrication Georgina Hayns, animation supervisor Brian Leif Hansen, and sound designer and supervisor Scott Martin Gershin.