Guillermo del Toro (2022)

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro reinvents the classic tale of the wooden marionette who is magically brought to life in order to mend the heart of a grieving woodcarver named Geppetto. This whimsical, stop-motion film directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson follows the mischievous and disobedient adventures of Pinocchio in his pursuit of a place in the world.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is an upcoming stop-motion musical fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson, based on Gris Grimly’s design from his 2002 edition of the 1883 Italian novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. The film was written by del Toro and Patrick McHale.

Produced by Netflix Animation, The Jim Henson Company and ShadowMachine in co-production with Pathé, El Taller del Chucho, and Necropia Entertainment, Pinocchio was announced by Del Toro in 2008 and originally scheduled to be released in 2013 or 2014, but the project went into development hell. In January 2017, McHale was announced to co-write the script, but in November 2017, the production was suspended as no studios were willing to provide financing. The production was revived the following year after being acquired by Netflix.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is scheduled to be released in select theaters in November 2022, followed by its streaming release on Netflix in December 2022.

Brian Henson (2022)

Welcome to the town of Bland, where a not-so-little girl is about to change the way we see ambition forever.

Tall Poppy is a 10-minute short film produced by the Jim Henson Company and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop for Australian company CGU Insurance. The short was directed by Brian Henson.

CGU Insurance partnered with the Henson Company to develop a short to address the cultural phenomenon wherein people hold back, criticize, or sabotage those who achieved notable success — commonly referred to as tall poppy syndrome. A 2021 CGU Insurance study found that “one in five Australians have either passed up an opportunity for fear of being seen as a ‘tall poppy’ or been a victim of the tall poppy syndrome.”

The main character is Poppy, who represents the positive aspects of ambition and retains and shares it. Tabletop puppetry (using dozens of puppets) was combined with visual effects, provided by Stargate Studios.

Tall Poppy is about celebrating ambition and facing the feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability that can get in the way of living to your fullest potential. The ambitious team that came together to create this film, brought together by our incredible partners at CGU Insurance, definitely saw the magic and innovation that can happen when everyone feels free to share their own unique talents. We hope that Poppy’s story will inspire Australians to celebrate their own tall poppies.

Brian Henson