After a 14-year long battle, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s dream project ‘Pinocchio’ (officially titled ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’) had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, reports Variety.
Taking the stage before the premiere, del Toro spoke of his connection with the story: “I saw the film as a kid and it’s a film that bonded me with my mom for an entire life. It affected me because Pinocchio saw the world the way I saw it. I was a little bit enraged that people demand obedience from Pinocchio so I wanted to make a film about disobedience as a virtue, and to say that you shouldn’t change to be loved.”
The film’s young star, newcomer Gregory Mann, described the premiere – which coincides with his 13th birthday, a serendipitous fact that earned him a loving birthday chant from the audience – as “the best day of his life.”
Variety further states that while onstage, del Toro made a point to reinforce his and his team’s love for the craft of animation: “Everybody who is here believes that animation is not a genre. That animation is art. Animation is film.
Visibly emotional, the filmmaker bid a heartfelt farewell to the audience by honouring his late mother, who died the day before the film’s world premiere: “I just want to say, my mother just passed away, and this was very special for her and me. This is not only the first time you’ll see the movie, it’s the first time she’ll see the movie with us. Thank you.”
Directed alongside Mark Gustafson, the film took 1,000 days to produce, with a vast array of animators working tirelessly to bring the filmmaker’s ambitious vision to life.