‘Pinocchio’ Coming to Digital Feb. 23 From Lionsgate

The Italian film adaptation Pinocchio arrives on digital Feb. 23 from Lionsgate.

The film stars Academy Award winner Roberto Benigni (1998, Best Actor, Life Is Beautiful), Federico lelapi (Que vado?), Rocco Papaleo (Basilicata Coast to Coast, A small southern enterprise, Cecchi Gori Cecchi Gori?), Massimo Ceccherini (Tale of Tales, La mia vita a stelle e strisce), with the participation of Marine Vacth, and with Gigi Proietti.

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In the story, when a magical piece of wood falls into his hands, Geppetto (Benigni) carves from it his greatest creation, Pinocchio, a puppet wondrously bestowed with life. Pinocchio’s dreams of becoming a real boy are complicated by his misadventures among a host of otherworldly creatures — a fox-and-cat bandit duo, an asthmatic dogfish, a talking cricket, and others — until he meets a kind blue-haired fairy, whose only wish is to make his dreams come true.

Oscar Winning Director Guillermo Del Toro to Produce Animated ‘Pinocchio’ for Netflix

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is making his animated feature film directorial debut at Netflix with Pinocchio, which he will also write and produce as a stop-motion musical.

Pinocchio will be del Toro’s first feature film since The Shape of Water, which garnered four Academy Awards last year, including for Best Director and Best Picture.

Del Toro has set his retelling of the classic tale of Pinocchio in Italy during the 1930s.

“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,” said del Toro in a statement. “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. 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.”

“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,” said Melissa Cobb, VP of kids and family at Netflix. “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.”

This marks an expansion of Netflix’s existing relationship with del Toro, who created the Emmy award-winning television series DreamWorks’ “Trollhunters,” the first installment of the DreamWorks’ “Tales of Arcadia” trilogy. He is also the creator of the upcoming Netflix series, “Guillermo de Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.”

Pinocchio is a production of Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), and ShadowMachine (“Bojack Horseman,” “The Shivering Truth”), which will house the stop-motion animation production.

Netflix expects production on Pinocchio to begin this fall.