Guillermo Del Toro Is Already Making Another Stop Motion Movie

Guillermo del Toro's next movie will be a stop-motion adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant.

By Jessica Scott | Published

guillermo del toro

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio was in the works for an incredible 15 years before it was finally released, but the famed filmmaker is already on to his next animated project: a stop-motion adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. According to a recent interview with The Telegraph: “We start the design process in two months.”

Fans of Guillermo del Toro’s horror work may not know that it was once the director’s dream to become an animator. According to Polygon, del Toro was actually in the stop-motion business before he began making live-action feature films. For 15 years, he ran an animation and effects company and even taught stop-motion to students. 

Then, though, Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion dreams were shattered in a hail of bodily excretions. Yes, you read that right. “My brother, my then-girlfriend and I, we fabricated 120 puppets in clay. We did the sets. And one night, we went to dinner and to a movie. And when we came back, our place had been burglarized. They had destroyed every puppet, they had pooped and peed on the floor.” 

All of their work, three years of effort, was completely ruined. This was the turning point for Guillermo del Toro’s career. Shattered by the senseless destruction, he decided to pivot and head in a completely new direction by doing Cronos, his first live-action film. 

Slowly but surely, though, Guillermo del Toro found his way back to the stop-motion animation he loved. He directed a few episodes of Trollhunters on Netflix, for instance, and even boasts that he is behind the creature effects in Pacific Rim. “If you know Pacific Rim, you’ve seen 45 minutes of animation directed by me,” he said. He also consulted on and acted as a producer for movies like Puss in Boots and Rise of the Guardians

Finally, he fully reconnected with the medium when he decided to finally create the film he had been dreaming about making since he was a little boy: Pinocchio. For decades, he had been thinking about a world in which Pinocchio and the humans around him could more realistically exist together, and the answer was stop-motion animation.

Unfortunately, his dreams took a long time to come to fruition. Everyone kept rejecting his idea, finding it too “uncommercial” or “strange” or too hard to pin down in terms of genre and audience. At long last, though, Netflix gave Guillermo del Toro the “yes” he was looking for, and the production process got underway. 

The film took three years to make, but Guillermo del Toro enjoyed every minute of it. So much so that he’s already ready to keep expanding the stop-motion animation genre with his next project, The Buried Giant. The story is based on a novel from 2015 in which an elderly couple traverses post-Arthurian Britain to visit their son. A mass outbreak of amnesia overtakes the entire population, however, and the couple can no longer remember important details about their son.

They set out on their journey to find him – and to regain their own memories – with a knight, a Saxon warrior, and his orphan ward as their traumatic, shared past comes back to haunt them.

Like with Pinocchio, Guillermo del Toro was drawn to this story because it isn’t a simple children’s story, but yet it still lends itself to animation. In his own words: “Animation has given us so many indelible images over the years, but in many ways the industry wants to keep it at the children’s table. So I want to keep pushing the medium into areas that demonstrate its capacity.”