Los Angeles’ Animation Is Film festival (AIF) has announced its Closing Night film will be a Special Presentation of Netflix’s stop-motion feature Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. The closing night event will be held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater (8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills), featuring multi-award-winning director Guillermo del Toro in person on Saturday, October 29. The film is due to launch on streaming on December 9.
The festival has also revealed it will screen the World Premiere of the English-language dub of One Piece Film Red as the Centerpiece of the festival, on Saturday, October 22, ahead of its North American theatrical release on November 4.
Last week, AIF announced the Opening Night Selection, Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild, as well as Competition Section titles, including the North American Premiere of Nora Twomey and Cartoon Saloon’s My Father’s Dragon and Annecy’s Cristal Award-winning Little Nicolas. The festival will also present special screenings of award season contenders Luck, Turning Red, Aurora’s Sunrise and more.
Directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a reinvention of the classic Carlo Collodi tale about the wooden marionette magically brought to life to mend the heart of a grieving wood carver named Gepetto. The whimsical stop-motion film follows the mischievous adventures of Pinocchio as he sets out to find his place in the world.
The film’s all-star voice cast features Ewan McGregor as Cricket, David Bradley as Geppetto and Gregory Mann as Pinocchio, Finn Wolfhard, Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson and Burn Gorman, with Academy Award winners Christoph Waltz and Tilda Swinton.
“In both spirit and action, Guillermo del Toro exemplifies the Animation Is Film mission — a filmmaker of the highest order embracing animation as a cinematic artform of the highest order,” festival founder Eric Beckman enthused. “Bringing Pinocchio to life has been the filmmaker’s passion and labor for over 20 years. We are honored and humbled beyond words that he has chosen to unveil it to U.S. audiences at Animation Is Film. Thank you Guillermo!”
Toei Animation’s One Piece Film Red, directed by Goro Taniguchi (One Piece – Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack) and written by Tsutomo Kuroiwa (One Piece Film: Gold), commemorates the 25th anniversary of creator Eiichiro Oda’s popular manga series — the top-selling manga title of all time. This 15th feature film installment of the global hit franchise delves deep into the legendary pirate Shanks and introduces a new character, Uta.
Uta — the most beloved singer in the world whose voice has been described as “otherworldly” — is known for concealing her identity when performing. Now, for the first time ever, she will reveal herself to the world at a live concert. With the Navy watching closely, the venue fills with Uta’s fans — including excited pirates and the Straw Hats led by Monkey D. Luffy. The story begins with the shocking revelation that she is the daughter of the enigmatic Shanks.
AIF’s partners for 2022 are Apple Original Films, ASIFA-Hollywood, Cartoon Network, Crunchyroll, DreamWorks Animation, ELMA, Fathom Events, Gotham Group, Illumination, LAIKA, Locksmith Animation, Netflix, Nickelodeon, Paramount Animation, Pixar Animation Studios, Shout! Factory, Skydance Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, StretchSense, Walt Disney Animation and Warner Bros. Animation. The festival, founded by GKIDS and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, presents a selection of new animated feature films from Asia, Europe, South America and North America, with both juried and audience prizes.