Guillermo del Toro received an enthusiastic standing ovation following the screening of his upcoming stop-motion adaptation of Pinocchio on Saturday at the close of the Animation is Film Festival.
In a packed Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, del Toro was on hand for a conversation about the moviemaking with Oscar-winning VFX veteran Phil Tippett (Jurassic Park) following the screening. “It’s just a whole different way of creatively thinking, doing something like this,” said Tippett. “You get totally lost in the world-building.”
Of his approach to Pinocchio, del Toro said he viewed the animators as actors. “I promised, you are going to be the actors, this is what we want. But if the puppet tells you something different, do it. There is no other form of animation where the bond [between animator and character] is so close.”
He added that his hope that was “maybe 30 minutes into the movie, people will think ‘this is a good actor — not a puppet.’”
Pinocchio was presented as a special event to close the fifth edition of the Animation is Film Festival. During the week, Little Nicolas (Le Petit Nicolas), directed by Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre, won the festival’s Grand Jury Prize. In the spring, it won the top prize at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
My Father’s Dragon, directed by Oscar nominee Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner) and produced by Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon (Wolfwalkers) for a Netflix release, took home the Special Jury Prize. This year’s Audience Award went to Aurora’s Sunrise directed by Inna Sahakyan, and the Shorts Jury Prize was awarded to Ice Merchants directed by João Gonzalez.
This story originally appeared on HollywoodReporter