Sometimes small is more impressive than big. So it is showcased in the New York MoMA new exhibition, on display from December 11 2022 to April 15 2023. This exhibition is dedicated to celebrating the exquisite craft and practice behind filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s (dir. The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth) first stop-motion animated film Pinocchio.
Truly expansive, this exhibition sweeps across the year-long production timeframe encompassing various paraphernalia, from five full working sets, puppets, drawings, archival photography to time-lapse and motion-test videos, props, and sculptural molds. The exhibition opens with a cultural background on the narrative of Pinnochio showcasing three editions of Carlo Collodi’s book The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883), including the directly inspirational 2002 edition illustrated by Gris Grimly. Then, the exhibition moves to focus on the production research done to create the natural elements of the film, such as the wood and stone of Pinnochio’s village. Here, examples of the finished puppets are introduced, along with development maquette, to display the progression in development.
In the next section visitors will explore the experience of being ‘on the set’ of the film, with animation video giving insights into how animators bring scenes to life with a remarkable attention to detail. The next floor houses the largest Pinocchio puppet, ‘Oversized Pinocchio’, suspended from the ceiling and measuring approximately 172cm, used in the closeup shots.
The exhibition concludes with a final presentation of props and materials including a display of 24 editions of Pinocchio, three newly commissioned video essays by Javier Soto, a selection of original studio-edition posters, and a site-specific soundscape. Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio is organised by Curator Ron Magliozzi and Curatorial Assistant Brittany Shaw, with Department of Film Research Assistant Kyla Gordon.
By Liberty Leonard-Shaw