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Guillermo del Toro cares a lot about animation, his first (and if he gets his way, last) love in filmmaking. During a recent filmmaking masterclass at the Annecy International Animation Festival, del Toro went off (and I mean, really went off) on the homogenized nature of commercial animation. But in his eyes, things may be moving in the right direction, allowing for wiggle room in the kinds of stories that can be told – and one of the causes happens to feature a mustachioed red plumber.


“The three hits of Spider-Verse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mario are moving things, allowing a little more latitude, but there are still big fights to be had,” del Toro said. “Animation to me is the purest form of art, and it’s been kidnapped by a bunch of hoodlums. We have to rescue it. [And] I think that we can Trojan-horse a lot of good sh*t into the animation world.”


He then proceeds to absolutely waste the “teenage rom-com, almost emoji-style behavior” of less ambitious 3D movies, which he referred to with terms that are slightly too foul to reprint here (but you absolutely should read, because they’re incredible). He’s clearly a man passionate about the art form, and one ready to fight to expand its possibilities.

Among the three movies del Toro cites, the Super Mario Bros. Movie is the least stylistically innovative (as far as rendering and animation goes), but it does have a lot of love and passion for the franchise packed in, and a style of storytelling that reflects the experience of playing a video game (which at least is a novel approach). Hopefully we see more innovation from the industry moving forward.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.