Guillermo Del Toro is working on a stop-motion movie about Pinocchio, you may recall. In a recent conversation, he extrapolated on the similarities between that classic fairytale and the immortal story of Frankenstein. “To me, they’re not exactly the same, but they’re similar. They are both creatures that are created and thrown into a world that they have to figure out on their own. They both have a moral, spiritual journey…I thought Pinocchio could be a great opportunity to talk about disobedience. Obedience isn’t a virtue, it’s a burden. Disobedience is the seed of reason–it’s a desirable way to gain your own soul. I thought this could be…interesting… if we set it during the rise of Mussolini.” Thus Pinocchio’s refusal to follow the rules here will be inverted. Instead of it being a morality tale instructing children to be good and behave, it’s about the importance of individuality. That means it will hew even closer to FRANKENSTEIN than does the original fairytale.
In the original version of the story, Pinocchio is given everything that he needs by a kindly father, yet misbehaves anyway. It could be seen as a cautionary tale for parents as much as children. But the exact opposite occurs in FRANKENSTEIN. Victor Frankenstein abandons his creation, and the Monster is then subjected to all manner of mistreatment from society at large, to the point that it starts fighting back, and its actions match its appearance as truly monstrous.
Man, Del Toro needs to do a Frankenstein movie.