Adult Animation Revolution: Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pinocchio’ Wins The Oscar For Best Animated Feature
by Tito W. James
At the Oscars 2023, Pinocchio co-directors Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson accepted the award for best animated feature. The stop-motion animated film revolutionizes the Pinocchio fairy tale set against the backdrop of the rise of fascism in 1940s Italy and explores the need for disobedience and the meaning of life and death. This Oscar is not only a victory for the creative team but for the medium of animation as a whole.
Animated filmmaking has consistently been belittled by the Oscars. The notion that animation is for kids and that fairy tales are frivolous is an antiquated and puritanical way of thinking. Del Toro has spent much of his career proving that monsters and fables have as much to say about humanity as a grounded realistic drama. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Del Toro elaborated on the creative power of animation.
[Animation] is an art form that has kept being knee-capped commercially and industrially and [kept at] the kid’s table for so long–And it really is a mature, expressive, beautiful, complex, art form. So a win helps, but it is about going forward as a community.Guillermo del Toro
Those who loved Pinocchio will be pleased to learn that Guillermo Del Toro’s next animated project will be a stop-motion adaptation of The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. The fantasy novel follows an elderly Briton couple, Axl and Beatrice, living in a fictional post-Arthurian England in which no one is able to retain long-term memories. After dimly recalling that they might years earlier have had a son, the couple decide to travel to a neighboring village to seek him out.
As I expressed in my previous articles it’s up to journalists, influencers, and those in the creative communities to change the narrative surrounding animation. “Animation is a medium not a genre,” should be our mantra. So, keep spreading the word and share innovative animation with your friends who don’t normally watch animation.