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Guillermo del Toro to carve out stop-motion Pinocchio for Netflix

The puppet musical is a "lifelong passion project" for the Oscar-winning director of The Shape of Water.

Guillermo del Toro explores a new voice with a Pinocchio musical.

Margaret Malandruccolo

Guillermo del Toro knows a thing or two about fantastical creatures. The Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy director is about to tell some lies with a stop-motion musical version of Pinocchio for Netflix

Netflix announced on Monday that Pinocchio will be del Toro's animated feature film directorial debut. It's an interesting choice for a follow-up to his Best Picture Oscar-winning movie The Shape of Water

If you need a refresher, Pinocchio is the tale of a puppet created by a woodcarver named Geppetto. Pinocchio's greatest wish is to become a real human boy, but he has a tendency to tell lies, which causes his nose to grow outward.

The story is actually incredibly surreal, which should make it a good fit for del Toro's imaginative approach to filmmaking.

Del Toro will also write and produce Pinocchio, which will be set in 1930s Italy. The Jim Henson Company and animation studio ShadowMachine (known for BoJack Horseman) are also on board for the production. 

"No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio," said del Toro. "In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend."

Disney's 1940 animated musical version of Pinocchio still holds strong in the public mind, but the Netflix Film Twitter account has already put the kibosh on one famous Disney character by tweeting, "...And it's safe to say that Jiminy won't be in Guillermo's version."

This project expands del Toro's existing relationship with the streaming service. Netflix expects Pinocchio production to begin this fall.