Guillermo del toro pinocchio oscars animeted feature film cast character made
Image courtesy of Netflix

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio wins the 2023 Oscars’ Best Animated Feature Film. The mesmerizing stop-motion musical fantasy is inspired by the 1883 Italian novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi and publicized by Gris Grimly’s illustrations of the 2002 edition of the book.

Del Toro’s Pinocchio reimagines the classic in Fascist Italy during World War 2. While the film stars the voice of actors Gregory Mann and David Bradley the true faces of the film were created in Manchester.

The audiences might remember seeing Geppetto and Pinocchio on the red carpet of Baftas in London styled in a suit and a bow tie. Both the leads of the film are creations of the animation studio Mackinnon and Saunders, based in Altrincham, Greater Manchester.


How were Del Toro’s Geppetto and Pinocchio made?

Mackinnon and Saunders animation studio are famous for its creation of many famous TV shows, feature films, cartoons, and advertisements. Some of their notable works include Postman Pat, Bob The Builder, Pingu, and Scream Street. They have also worked on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Fox and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie.

According to Mackinnon and Saunders, the creation of the Oscar-winning film Pinocchio needed 62 people and thousands of hours spread across 4 years. They continuously held a back-and-forth conversation with the director, del Toro’s team through E-mails.

The director had a clear description of how he wished to present the characters. Such as Geppetto’s hands must look like a worker’s hands. The director paid keen attention from the dirt under the nails to the number of calluses on his hands.


As for Pinocchio, the masters at Mackinnon and Saunders created a 3D-printed steel skeleton instead of foam and silicone. Which allowed them to create multiple identical Pinocchio models. Similarly, they created multiple Pinocchio heads with different expressions that can easily attach or detach with magnets.

Following the settlement on the basic models, The Oscar-winning film progressed with its equally detail-oriented production in Portland, Oregon, and Guadalajara in Mexico. The film took years before reaching the streaming platform Netflix.


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio takes animation to the next step

Guillermo del toro pinocchio oscars animeted feature film cast character made
Image courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s stop motion animation, Pinocchio became Guillermo del Toro’s third Oscar win. He previously won best picture and best director for his 2017 movie The Shape of Water.

The director shared his opinions about the animation industry backstage stating “This is an art form that keeps remaining kneecapped commercially and industrially,” According to him animation is a mature, expressive, and complex art form and he wishes of financing a stop-motion class in the future.

The director expressed his desire to progress stop motion animation as he believes it is a democratic form of animation. Supporting his statement he says that if a kid can place a camera on his wall then he too can create animation in stop-motion.


Guillermo del toro pinocchio oscars animeted feature film cast character made
Image courtesy of Netflix

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is the second stop-motion animation to win an Academy Award in the Animated Feature category. The first is 2005’s Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

This is also only the seventh time since the category of Animated Feature film was introduced at the Oscars in 2002 that a non-Disney and Pixar film won the award. This makes Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio win even more special for stop-motion animation.


For more news coverage of the 2023 Oscars and the world of entertainment do follow Spiel Times. We will see you next time.

Kairavi Pandya is a Senior Writer at Spiel Times. She has a fascination with cinema, multi-generational literature, and old-school Kpop. In her spare time, she likes to learn choreographies and catch up with healing K-dramas. She is also pursuing her undergrad degree.