Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio

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Installation view of *Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio*, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 11, 2022 – April 15, 2023. © 2022 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Emile Askey

ShadowMachine. Pinocchio faces. 2019; Storage for Pinocchio faces. 2019–22

Resin and paint, 3D printed at Fathom Manufacturing, United States; Pizza boxes, cardboard, paper, packing tape, polyjet resin, and magnets. Courtesy Netflix Physical Assets & Archives

Narrator: Welcome to Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio, an exhibition dedicated to the craft, process, and collaboration behind Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. On this audio playlist, you’ll hear from some of the many people who brought this film to life.

Director, Mark Gustafson: When you look at this film, you can see the people who made it.

Co-Production Manager, Curt Enderle: Everything has to be built. That’s the blessing and the curse of stop motion. You fully create a world and a world that’s unlike any other. And that’s really powerful.

Puppet Production Manager, Jennifer Hammontree: These are complicated puppets. They’re each a tiny work of art and engineering.

Narrator: The faces you see here are used in a technique called replacement animation.

Puppet Creative Supervisor, Georgina Hayns: Replacement is every mouth shape and every expression being the separate face mask that sits on the puppet’s face.

Facial Animator, Kim Slate: We had roughly 870 different mouths that we could use. So, a range of happy, sad, neutral, fearful. We tried to really build out his kit so that we could hit any emotional beat in the story.

We design the facial performance for every shot prior to the animator starting. So, I will animate the shot using the storyboards, using cues from the voice actors. And then the animator will get basically a pizza box full of 3D printed faces, and an X-sheet that tells them which frame to put which face on.

Georgina Hayns: One of the challenges with Pinocchio is “how do we make the viewer believe that he’s wood?” That’s why we went replacement faces on him because using a hard material for his face made perfect sense.