Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio
Guillermo del Toro on the set of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, 2022. Courtesy Jason Schmidt / Netflix.

Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio

Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR - June 10 - Sep 17

by Joseph Gallivan

The landmark exhibition Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio explores and celebrates the artistry, creativity and storytelling behind the Netflix film Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022). Organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the exhibition has been expanded for Portland, its spiritual home. The movie’s stop-motion animation was mostly produced at the local studio ShadowMachine, which, along with Laika Studios, makes Portland a creative hub of stop-motion.

Guillermo del Toro is a director, screenwriter and producer with a taste for directing both Spanish-language dark-fantasy pieces (Pan’s Labyrinth, 2006) and more mainstream American action movies (Hellboy, 2004; Pacific Rim, 2013). Del Toro progressed from makeup artist to indie filmmaker to beloved Hollywood director, while staying true to his Guadalajara roots. He’s all about authenticity and craft.

Del Toro’s Pinocchio (co-directed by Mark Gustafson) won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in part because of its anti-fascist take on a well-worn fable. As del Toro told Entertainment Weekly, “If you are doing stories of fathers and sons … then the most caustic and corrosive form of paternal figure is the fascist idea of the strong man, Mussolini… Instead of Pinocchio learning to be a ‘real boy,’ we have Geppetto learning to be a real father, which is a really beautiful arc.” The show’s thousand exhibits include all the usual behind-the-scenes objects – sets and workstations, notes, renderings, photos and movie clips. Watch for the bombed-out church and the ship inside the dogfish. Check out Animation Sundays, when the public can interact with artists from ShadowMachine.

Guillermo del Toro in conversation with Amy Dotson June 23, 3-4pm.

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