Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Cate Blanchett and newcomer Gregory Mann top a stellar voice acting lineup in Netflix’s upcoming animated musical, based on Carlo Collodi’s classic story, written and directed by the Oscar-winning ‘The Shape of Water’ director.
Netflix has just shared the voice cast for Academy Award winner Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming stop-motion animated musical, Pinocchio. Newcomer Gregory Mann will star as Pinocchio, with Ewan McGregor as Cricket and David Bradley (Harry Potter franchise, Game of Thrones) as Geppetto. Other cast members include Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz, Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett, John Turturro (The Batman), Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman (Nightmare Alley), Tim Blake Nelson (Watchmen), and Burn Gorman (Enola Holmes).
The film marks del Toro’s animated feature film directorial debut at Netflix; his lifelong passion project is set to debut in theaters and on Netflix. Principal photography began last Fall at ShadowMachine’s Portland, Oregon studio, and production has continued uninterrupted during the pandemic.
“After years of pursuing this dream project, I found my perfect partner in Netflix. We have spent a long time curating a remarkable cast and crew and have been blessed by continuous support from Netflix to quietly and carefully soldier on, barely missing a beat. We all love and practice animation with great passion and believe it to be the ideal medium to retell this classic story in a completely new way,” says del Toro.
Drawing on the classic Carlo Collodi tale, this stop-motion musical follows the extraordinary journey of a wooden boy magically brought to life by a father’s wish. Set during the rise of Fascism in Mussolini’s Italy, del Toro's Pinocchio is a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations.
Pinocchio is a production of del Toro, The Jim Henson Company (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), and ShadowMachine (Bojack Horseman, The Shivering Truth), which will house the stop-motion animation production. Alongside del Toro, Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce. Blanca Lista of The Jim Henson Company and Gris Grimly will co-produce. Also alongside del Toro, Patrick McHale (Over The Garden Wall, Adventure Time) co-wrote the script, Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) is co-directing, and Guy Davis and Curt Enderle will serve as co-production designer, taking inspiration from Grimly’s original design for the Pinocchio character. The film’s puppets are being built by Mackinnon and Saunders (Corpse Bride).
Other credits include production supervisor Melanie Coombs, animation supervisor Brian Hansen, puppet supervisor Georgina Hayns, director of photography Frank Passingham, art director Rob DeSue, and animatic editor Ken Schretzmann.
Del Toro’s 2017 film, The Shape of Water, garnered four Academy Awards, including for Best Director and Best Picture. Del Toro is also the creative force behind Netflix’s Emmy award-winning animated DreamWorks’ Tales of Arcadia trilogy; the final chapter, Wizards, launched earlier this month on the streaming giant.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.