Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of Pinocchio, which he co-directed with Portland animator Mark Gustafson, struck gold at last night’s 95th Academy Awards, earning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and bringing some awards-season glory to the Portland branch of animation house ShadowMachine, where it was made.
“Animation is cinema, animation is not a genre,” del Toro said in his acceptance speech. “And animation is ready to be taken to the next step. We are all ready for it. Please help us keep animation in the conversation.”
Portland connections abound for Pinocchio, which is currently streaming on Netflix. In his speech, del Toro thanked the “love of [his] life,” wife Kim Morgan, who is a former writer for The Oregonian and WW (and also co-wrote 2021′s Nightmare Alley with del Toro).
You can expect Pinocchio to make its presence felt in Portland for the foreseeable future. On June 10, the Portland Art Museum will open Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio, a more than 8,000-square-foot exhibit that the museum says will feature a look at the film’s “creatures, set pieces, stop-motion animation technology, and fantastical visual and sound elements.”
Other Portland-connected movies didn’t fare so well at the Oscars. Karen Murphy, the Portland production designer who was nominated for her work on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (and is the partner of Carrie Brownstein), lost to All Quiet on the Western Front in a major upset. (In fact, Elvis was completely shut out.)
Also out left out in the cold was filmmaker and former Portland Mavericks bat boy Todd Field, whose cleverly sadistic deconstruction of a celebrity conductor (played by Cate Blanchett) in TÁR may have been a little too intellectual for Academy voters. Maybe this’ll finally put to rest the “controversy” about whether Lydia Tár is a real person?