How the Main Character Arc of Pan’s Labyrinth Influenced Guillermo Del Toro’s Vision for Pinocchio

Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is lauded by many reviewers and admirers for his extraordinary talent for bringing magical worlds to life on the big screen. Del Toro is a master at continually awe-inspiring audiences with his singular vision for cinema, whether with the Academy Award-winning “The Shape of Water” or the Kaiju-spectacle “Pacific Rim.”

Del Toro’s abilities have recently been concentrated on the field of stop-motion animation with his adaptation of “Pinocchio.” The movie, which del Toro had long envisioned making, made its Netflix debut in November of last year. And even though the tale of a wooden boy who aspired to be real is well known, del Toro’s adaptation is unique.

Del Toro’s interpretation of the protagonist is disobedient for a large portion of the film as opposed to a little puppet kid who learns lessons on obedience. However, Pinocchio’s disregard for the rules turns out to be one of his most valuable traits given the challenging circumstances of Italy during World War II and adults who don’t have his best interests in mind.

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Fans will instantly see how heavily “Pinocchio” was influenced by del Toro. However, the development of one particular character in his iconic movie “Pan’s Labyrinth” greatly influenced his conception of the character.

Like Ofelia’s Tribulations, Pinocchio’s Struggles Measure His Soul

In “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” the title character undergoes a number of difficult personal experiences that involve numerous travels to the afterlife. Pinocchio encounters situations that test him more internally through his explorations and observations of both the good and bad in human nature. And by the end of the movie, his selfless decision to save Geppetto has transformed him spiritually into a true boy.

Pan's Labyrinth

Del Toro is no stranger to the idea of a youthful protagonist embarking on a profoundly transformative journey of the soul. The director told The Wrap that Ofelia’s (Ivana Baquero) character arc in “Pan’s Labyrinth” may have served as an inspiration for his idea for Pinocchio, therefore this may have been on purpose.

The Wrap quoted del Toro as saying, “I thought we needed something that was a threshold for Pinocchio – something that made him a true boy, not physically but spiritually.” “Pan’s Labyrinth’s main character underwent tests that weren’t physical, but they altered her and gauged her spirit.”

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Ofelia faced with moral dilemmas in “Pan’s Labyrinth” without a doubt. Even her penultimate test in that movie resembles Pinocchio’s moment of sacrifice in certain ways. She chooses not to splatter her baby brother’s blood when given the option.

But as a result, it’s the proper decision since she can join her mother on the throne in the underworld when she dies and her blood is spilt. In any event, this is a fantastic illustration of the astounding connections fans could draw between Guillermo del Toro’s movies.


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