Guillermo del Toro Slams Current Animation, Claims Industry is Full of “Hoodlums”

in Entertainment, Movies & TV

Guillermo del Toro with Pinocchio

Credit: Netflix

Guillermo del Toro had some strong words for the current state of animation during an Annecy Animated Film Festival master class he held this week.

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: Guillermo Del Toro at the annoucement of the development of Disney's "Haunted Mansion" at 2010 Comic-Con on July 22, 2010 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio/Wireimage)
Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio/Wireimage

At 58, the Mexican filmmaker is known for his incredible works of fantasy and horror, receiving several Academy, Emmy, and BAFTA awards during the course of his career so far. He’s created works like The Shape of Water (2017), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Crimson Peak (2015), as well as some animated films, including his most recent work, Pinocchio (2022).

Mia Wasikowska in Guillermo del Toro's 'Crimson Peak'
Credit: Universal Pictures

After diving into the world of animation with his adaptation of Pinocchio last year, it seems as though del Toro has set his sights on a new area of filmmaking. Speaking during the festival, he spoke out about his opinions on the current state of animation, calling it the “purest form of art” but claiming it’s been “hijacked by a bunch of hoodlums.”

daniel kaluuya spider-punk hobie brown spider-man across the spider-verse
Credit: Sony Pictures

He continued on, calling out common inclusions in most modern animation, describing characters who have been “codified into a sort of teenage rom-com, almost emoji-style behavior.” He went on, discussing characters “raising [their] fucking eyebrow, or crossing his arms, having a sassy pose — oh, I hate that shit.”

Mario (Chris Pratt) in 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' (2023)
Credit: Illumination/Nintendo

In del Toro’s ideal animation, he explained, he wants to see real families depicted, not sitcom caricatures. He describes his dad, himself, and his entire family as boring, but followed it up by saying that it’s real and should be included more in animation. “I would love to see real life in animation. I actually think it’s urgent. think it’s urgent to see real life in animation,” he said.

Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio
Credit: Netflix

As the world of animation is being rocked by films like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and its sequel, Across the Spider-Verse (2023), as well as Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022), it’s unclear if del Toro was talking about the standard version of animation, the new version, or the animation industry as a whole.

Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots in 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' (2022)
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

He confirmed that he has a few live-action films left to work on, including his much-anticipated adaptation of Frankenstein, set to star Oscar Isaac and Andrew Garfield, but that he will be switching to focus solely on animated projects afterwards.

Are you excited to see del Toro switch to animation? Let Inside the Magic know your thoughts in the comments below!

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