Netflix could be about to give us the darkest and most twisted Disney movie of all time
While the typical Disney movie may always end with a 'happily ever after', if you take a look at the fairytales they're based on, you'll find something extremely different.
The film studio has made billions repackaging folk tales, giving them a sprinkle of romance here, a catchy song and dance there. But check out the originals and they're more likely to include a torture chamber here, a gruesome death scene there.
It seems Netflix is about to go back to basics, turning everything you know about fairytales upside down with a dark retelling of one Disney hit in particular.
In a press release this week, the streaming service announced they would be adapting the story of Pinochio as stop-motion musical. Rumour has it, it will be one of the darkest productions of the puppet's tale yet, with it taking place during the rise of fascism in 1930s Italy.
The movie will be written, produced and directed by Guillermo del Toro, whose last film, The Shape of Water, won four Oscars, including best director and best picture. It's not the first time the director has worked with Netflix; he created the Emmy award-winning television series DreamWorks’ Trollhunters as well as Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.
While the exact plot of del Toro's Pinochio remains unknown, the very first version of the fairytale was designed to show what happens to children who are bad. In Carlo Collodi's original, the boy puppet kills Jiminy Cricket with a mallet and is constantly tortured for his cruel and mischievous behaviour, this including being starved, beaten and having his legs burned off one at a time.
The serialized version originally ended with Pinochio's death by hanging, but due to an outcry from fans, Collodi eventually decided his character's life would be spared. The new ending saw him transformed into a real boy when he acquired a deeper understanding of himself.
Speaking about his new highly anticipated project - which is expected to begin production this fall - del Toro claimed that he had a "deep personal connection" to the story of Pinocchio.
"No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio," he said. "In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world."
He continued: "I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember. After the incredible experience we have had on Trollhunters, I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy."
Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Kids and Family at Netflix also spoke of the company's excitement for the new film, saying: "Throughout his distinguished career, Guillermo has exhibited mastery in inspiring people through his magical worlds filled with unforgettable and magnificent characters, from the monsters in Pan’s Labyrinth to the aquatic creature in The Shape of Water. We are incredibly excited to expand our relationship with Guillermo and we know that his deeply touching vision for bringing Pinocchio to life on Netflix will be embraced by audiences the world over."
So, is this about to be the darkest Disney retelling yet? Watch this space...