If you saw Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio then you’ll know the Oscar-winning director proved a perfect fit for the medium of stop-motion animation. (And if you haven’t seen it, get thee to Netflix immediately!) His long-gestating take on the living puppet – reimagined as an anti-Fascist fable – not only brought him more Oscar gold earlier this year, but also seemed to provide considerable creative invigoration to the man who, in fairness, wasn’t exactly short of it in the first place. And speaking at the Annecy animation festival this week, it sounds like del Toro is so enthralled by the medium of animation that he plans to dedicate much more of his time to the craft going forward.
Guillermo del Toro told the Annecy audience (as reported by THR) that, “there are a couple more live-action movies I want to do, but not many,” and added that “after that, I only want to do animation. That’s the plan.” For the filmmaker, there’s plenty of potential in animation that remains untapped, given that the medium is often channelled primarily into family-focused fare. “I believe you can make an adult fantasy drama with stop-motion and move people emotionally,” he said. “I think stop-motion can be intravenous, it can go straight to your emotions in a way that no other medium can.”
In the wake of Pinocchio, del Toro has already set up his next animated feature – once again a stop-motion project at Netflix, adapting Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. But he’s not quite pivoting to animation-only yet. He’s also readying a live-action take on Frankenstein, with the likes of Oscar Isaac, Andrew Garfield and Mia Goth expected to star. And given the kind of magic del Toro can conjure on screen away from the animated realm (Pan’s Labyrinth! The Shape Of Water! Nightmare Alley!) hopefully he keeps a few live-action movies in mind for his future too. Either way, he seems particularly animated about his upcoming plans.