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This time last year, debate raged as to which one of 2022’s high-profile Pinocchio movies would end up being deemed as the best, an understandable conversation worth having when you consider the level of talent attached to each project.
In one corner, Academy Award winners Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks were re-teaming for a fourth time after Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and The Polar Express, all of which won some semblance of either critical, commercial, or awards season acclaim. Throw in the backing of the all-powerful Disney machine to go with a budget of $150 million, and there was every reason to be excited.
In the other, fantasy fanatic and dedicated defender of stop-motion Guillermo del Toro partnered up with Netflix for a much more modest spin on the classic story, albeit one that roped in a star-studded cast and featured all of his visual, thematic, and aesthetic idiosyncrasies.
Suffice to say, there was only one winner, seeing as the Mouse House’s blockbuster was savaged as one of the year’s worst films, whereas del Toro rode a wave of fully-deserved momentum all the way to an Oscar win. In fact, Netflix was quick to point out that by securing the statue for Best Animated Feature on the streamer’s dime, the filmmaker achieved an accomplishment nobody else in the history of the Oscars can lay claim to.
Having previously won Best Picture and Best Director for The Shape of Water – which del Toro delightfully described as “the fish-f*cking movie” – he’s proven himself a master of two distinct mediums of cinema that he adores equally, and there was no better recipient than Pinocchio with which to achieve it.