For someone who grew up in the late '80s or the '90s, animation was serious business. People like Don Bluth were making movies that were mature, even disturbing, and generally treating children as a more sophisticated audience. 

On top of that, there's plenty of animation made way before that time — and even if standards for censoring weren't much different for children's movies back then, sometimes it got...weird.

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I mean, I remember the Disney one, and it definitely got weird.

I mean, I remember the Disney one, and it definitely got weird.
Imgur |  TheBallsOfCthulhu

OK, that's not exactly what I meant, but it's not like this proves that it doesn't get weird.

So, when Animation Scoop posted the recent announcement via Netflix that Guillermo del Toro will be heading up a stop-motion Pinocchio, I started wondering.

Del Toro is obviously known for his dark fantasy, like Pan's Labyrinth and the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water — but will his Pinocchio be the same? Can it really be any darker than what I remember about the Disney version?

I dunno. Puppets are generally kinda creepy no matter what, right?

I dunno. Puppets are generally kinda creepy no matter what, right?
YouTube |  Th3ShAd0wKiD97

So when they can, I dunno, just walk off their strings and run around, it can be a little freaky. 


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I think even Disney must realize it, because apparently in April they tweeted a big mood about Pinocchio — then deleted it after.

I think even Disney must realize it, because apparently in April they tweeted a big mood about Pinocchio— then deleted it after.
Twitter |  @TheRyanParker

Also, way to copy and paste the most depressing lyrics in "When You Wish Upon A Star," Disney.

I mean, of course they deleted it. But it's the internet, and of course nobody was gonna leave that alone even after they did.

I mean, of coursethey deleted it. But it's the internet, and of course nobody was gonna leave that alone even after they did.
Twitter |  @Callie_goodwin

If there's one thing you can always count on Twitter for, it's a hilarious response to something that was already pretty dark.

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And hey, it's not like the Disney version didn't have its heartwarming parts. Even right after that strange fish-kiss from earlier, we get this:

And hey, it's not like the Disney version didn't have its heartwarming parts. Even right after that strange fish-kiss from earlier, we get this:
YouTube |  edgelee84

Aww. That's the stuff. Even if the freeze-frame makes Pinocchio's eyes look a bit weird...

Hmm. Well, it's still a childhood classic.

As a kid, I always liked the idea of being able to tell when someone's lying to me.

via GIPHY

But look at me now, creepy puppet dude! Look at me now!

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But enough about me. 

The Hollywood Reporter mentions that the art direction will be "taking inspiration from Pinocchio character designs by Gris Grimly, the children's book artist whose work graced an edition in the early 2000s."

And in case you were wondering what that looked like:

You know, I don't have any idea why I pictured it much closer to the Disney getup. 

Also, I might be the only person who's pretty jealous of that insane Geppetto beard.

So, I guess it's fair to say that del Toro's version won't have much problem distancing itself from the 1940 classic.

So, I guess it's fair to say that del Toro's version won't have much problem distancing itself from the 1940 classic.
YouTube |  Video Detective

And hopefully also distancing itself from the 1996 live-action version, because that one's basically just nightmare fuel with a bad CGI cricket.

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But we don't want to talk about that one.

Really, the Disney version adjusted the original Carlo Collodi novel quite a bit to make it family-friendly by their standards.

According to WhatCulture, Jiminy Cricket is basically Disney-invented in terms of importance. Originally, after trying to drop a life lesson on Pinocchio about bad behavior, Pinocchio claps back immediately, "throwing a mallet at the cricket killing him instantly. This was not the direction Disney wanted to go."

"This was not the direction Disney wanted to go." Wow, really?

"This was not the direction Disney wanted to go." Wow, really?
YouTube |  Weekly Memes

And here I was thinking that their first concepts were a tense, Memento-style whodunit investigating the death of a cricket.

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Even without the first-act insect homicide, Disney didn't exactly skimp on the dark for their final cut.

via GIPHY

Like how Monstro the whale is basically just a...well, a monster. Did we not know how chill whales are when this was made? That thing is hardcore.

I get that the whale was never meant to be the true hero of the story or anything, but everything with Monstro makes the shark chase in Finding Nemo look like a friendly game of tag.

I get that the whale was never meant to be the true hero of the story or anything, but everything with Monstro makes the shark chase in Finding Nemolook like a friendly game of tag.
YouTube |  edgelee84

Even if he is a real role model for dental hygiene, that doesn't make it OK.

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And then there's the donkey transformation stuff. Oh, boy.

And then there's the donkey transformation stuff. Oh, boy.
YouTube |  kermitTHEdinosaur93

Even just the stuff with the fully-transformed kids is pretty whack, and that's not even getting to the worst part. 

Or best part, depending on how complex your feelings are about it.

When the kid actually becomes one right before our eyes, it's pretty intense body horror.

Why did my parents let me watch this, but I had to sneak downstairs at night to watch The Fly after they were asleep? They're basically the same movie. 

Am I remembering The Fly correctly?

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And then right after this kid's crying for his mother becomes the hee-haw of a frantic animal, Pinocchio straight-up sprouts some ears.

"Oh, snap. This just got real." 

Amazingly, something that I just said while watching a YouTube clip of a movie starring a magical puppet.

No matter what happens, the Disney version will always hold a specific, weird place in our hearts.

via GIPHY

Also, I guess Pinocchio can spontaneously create birds if he lies enough. So, that's a thing. We'll have to wait and see if del Toro's version explores how this would affect the poultry industry.

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I'm kinda stoked to check out the new Pinocchio when it's out. And I think we can all agree it's for the best that it's del Toro on this, because what would be the alternative? Tim Burton's Pinocchio, starring Johnny Depp? Oof.