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Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: release date, trailer, cast and everything we know about the Netflix movie

Geppetto and Pinocchio in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
(Image credit: Netflix)

The story of Pinocchio is a familiar one, but the classic tale is getting a new look and feel from Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro. Set as a Netflix original movie, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio comes to movie fans as part of 2022’s slate of new movies.

In what is sure to be a fun bit of comparison, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is the second story of the famous wooden puppet. Disney Plus’s Pinocchio, a live-action retelling of the classic Disney animated movie, lands on the streaming service in September. But del Toro’s version differs in the way it tells the story, both thematically and stylistically, as his is a stop-motion animated movie.

Here is everything we know about Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.

When is Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio release date?

While we don’t have the specific release date for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, there’s a couple key bits of information to know right now. 

First, the movie is going to have a limited run in select movie theaters sometime in November; this is likely to ensure that it qualifies for potential end-of-year awards, including the Oscars. The trailer says it arrives "this holiday season," so that could very well mean Thanksgiving (week of November 24).

Second, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio premieres on the Netflix streaming service in December, though again, an exact date is not yet known.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio trailer

The official teaser trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio previews "a story you may think you know, but you don’t," explains Ewan McGregor’s Sebastian J. Cricket (see, things are already different). The stop-motion animation in this trailer looks incredible. Watch the trailer for yourself below. 

Who is in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio cast?

The voice cast for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio isn’t short on names. Among them are the previously mentioned Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Cate Blanchett (TAR), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Tilda Swinton (Three Thousand Years of Longing), Burn Gorman (The Offer), John Turturro (The Batman), Christoph Waltz (No Time to Die), Ron Perlman (Don’t Look Up), David Bradley (Game of Thrones) and Tim Blake Nelson (Nightmare Alley).

The young actor who is being tasked to voice Pinocchio is Gregory Mann, whose previous credits include the ITV/PBS Masterpiece Theater series Victoria and the 2018 movie The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Other confirmed roles include Bradley as Geppetto, McGregor as Sebastian J. Cricket, Blanchett as Sprezzatura, Wolfhard as Candlewick, Waltz as Count Volpe and Perlman as Podesta.

What is the plot of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio?

Netflix describes this version of Pinocchio as "otherworldly" and one combines the original novel by Carlo Collodi with Guillermo del Toro’s unique vision. Here is the synopsis provided by the streamer:

"Set in Italy during the reign of Benito Mussolini, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio filters Carlo Collodi’s original Italian novel through del Toro’s typically gothic lens. This filmmaker’s puppet is carved from the wood of a tree that grew over a young boy’s grave. When the boy’s father, Geppetto, wishes for a child to be returned to him, he gets a bit more than he bargained for with Pinocchio, a scraggly and unfinished wooden mannequin who happily injects an element of pure chaos into his new father’s life."

The script was co-written by del Toro and Patrick McHale.

Guillermo del Toro movies

Guillermo del Toro has become one of the most recognized directors working today. An Oscar-winner for The Shape of Water, his other credits include movies like Blade II, Hellboy (and its sequel), Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak, Nightmare Alley and, in line with the fairy tale aspect, Pan’s Labyrinth.

Pinocchio represents del Toro’s first brush with stop-motion animation, though he is not a complete novice to animation. He directed the opening credits for The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror XXIV" in 2013 and has been a producer of a number of animated movies (Megamind, Puss in Boots, The Rise of the Guardians).

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio poster

(Image credit: Netflix)
Michael Balderston
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.