Composer Alexandre Desplat for The King’s Speech , etc. movies Famous for his works*) Argo and The Grand Budapest Hotel , striving to maintain the “innocence” and “vitality of Heart” story of Pinocchio through his role in Guillermo del Toro upcoming stop motion film Guillermo del Toro Pinocchio .
Using only wooden instruments like violin, piano or harp, he wants to connect the music to of the novel by Carlo Collodi on which the film is based.
“I think the real key is always emotion, trying to keep Pinocchio’s heart beating so vibrant and making sure we always feel this innocence that he has,” Despra told The Hollywood Reporter . “He doesn’t know anything. But he believes in everything. He’s so open-minded. That’s the beauty of Pinocchio.”
The film is produced by Netflix Animation, Jim Henson Co. and ShadowMachine Produced by Del Toro from 1930 since then, marking his directorial debut for an animated feature film co-directed with Marc Gustafson. Del Toro also wrote the script with Patrick McHale and Matthew Robbins. Del Toro and Desplat, who have known each other since Del Toro’s DreamWorks days, collaborated on Del Toro’s The Shape of Water.
Starring Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Ron Perlman, Finn Wolfhard and Cate Blanchett, the film also features Original song by del Toro with Desplat and Roeben Katz.
Pinocchio opens in select theaters Friday before hitting Netflix on December 9 .
Below, Desplat talks with THR about film scores, working with del Toro, and more.
How did you get involved Pinocchio of? I know you worked with Guillermo del Toro before on his 2017 movie The Shape of Water .
I knew Guillermo had a project for a while – until one day straight Pinocchio – all of a sudden he was ready and I got a script and he told me, “You’ll see, some chapters are for songwriting.” Not like A real musical where everyone sings and it’s just chapters where the characters sing and that’s where we start because as you know, these stop motion movies take a long time to make. If I remember correctly, they took 1, days to shoot, so quite a lot, that’s what Here we go. I met Guillermo in the studio. We start toying with songs, ideas, characters, what music or lyrics should convey which character, and that’s the beginning. Then we brought in my friend and lyricist Roeben Katz to write the lyrics with us. At some point, we’re ready to record songs with the cast. That was [two or] three years ago, a long time ago during COVID. The good news is we have a bunch of people who can sing. An amazing boy — well, he’s not a boy anymore, but [Gregory Mann] was 10 innocent at the time — I know Ewan is a very good musician and Christoph is a great musician, so we are very, very lucky to have these people on board. It’s interesting that we’ve documented them in all of these [different] places.
So it sounds like you waited after the movie to start composing?
Yes, that’s what I’ve been doing: watching what a movie has to offer, whether it’s animation Still real, I need to see. I love watching what’s going on on set, how the actors move, how they react and interact. The beauty of the crafting is that they are so inspiring. I am often asked where my inspiration comes from. It doesn’t come from sitting and looking at a tree. It probably came from sitting and watching what I was working on and how beautiful it was.
2008 After watching this movie, what was your composition process like? I know you only used wooden instruments.
Well, I’ve been trying to find some concepts for [a movie] I’m working on. How is this movie different from the previous and next movie, by combining instruments or sounds, you can create the sound of the movie. [中] The girl with the pearl earring , almost all musical instruments are muted. At great Mr. Fox , just a gadget, these little things. And Pinocchio , I think, you know, Geppetto was a carpenter. It’s been about trees since the beginning, so let’s challenge it to see how it goes and what to expect.
2008 How involved is Guillermo in the soundtrack? Does he give you some guidance or let you play?
Well, Guillermo wrote most of the songs with me because he was almost The seeds of all songs about the emotions we have to convey. And for the soundtrack, I think I play the theme first, which is the opening of the movie. I played it to him on the piano, and I thought he was moved, and I thought if Guillermo was moved, I must be in the right area. This is where we start. The great thing about this movie is that it is never childish or childish. It’s so deep and not just for kids. It’s playing for everyone. I would say for humans, you know, because Pinocchio’s story has a lot of soul, and what Guillermo did was even more soulful. Of course, for boys, the father-son relationship is always a wake-up call, especially when you lose your father. That means a lot, and when it comes to inspiration, you go there and try to connect your recurring emotions to what Guillermo asks of you. And, of course, there are a lot of twists and turns in the movie, the adventures we know about from the books, so there’s a great color palette, and there are musical colors to explore. But I think the real key is always trying to keep the emotion of Pinocchio’s vibrant heart beating and making sure we always feel this innocence that he has. He doesn’t know anything. But he believed in everything. He is so enlightened. That’s the beauty of Pinocchio.
How long will the composition of this film take, is it similar to your previous projects?
I never do two projects at once. I would say maybe two months or so with the recording. But the best thing we managed to do with Guillermo was weaving the melody of the song into the score. So of course there are a lot of new melodies in the score I’ve written, which I managed to do…I don’t want the songs to be chapters that just disappeared. You hear a song and then it disappears. No, all songs come back as instrumental themes through this score. They come back in many, many forms, different forms, shapes, tones, [rhythm], and I think it gives continuity to the whole movie, which would be different if we didn’t use the melody of the songs. Luckily, I wrote the music for the song, so it’s all very organic.
2008 I know this movie is based on an Italian novel, not a Disney version, but many people will relate to On a par with Disney, which won the Best of the Best at the 1883 2008 Academy Awards Score and best song , “When I Wish upon the Stars” has become Disney’s national anthem. Was it stressful to get these accolades?
Movies that were done before you got to Earth, as you approached these projects, [people] created Extraordinary music. The challenge before you is great. “But knowing Guillermo started with quality, knowing Disney… I mean, [Walt] Disney changed all the fairy tale stories, he made them his own, Guillermo started with the original, Bringing it into its own world social and political content in a great way. With environmental fascism in 1930 it creates a real different voice , different powerful elements that I can reference, and the tension it creates. Of course, when you’re approaching the Sherman Brothers or any of these other incredible composers, the pressure is on. You try to be your best.
What is your influence?
has no effect on me. I don’t listen to anything. If I need to connect to something, it’s probably something I know. Italians in’ and ‘2008 what to hears? They were listening to opera, Caruso, Puccini, there was a lot of stuff on the radio because that was the beginning of the radio. There was a lot of military music because Italy had colonies in Libya and Ethiopia. So I know they were playing What kind of music. But that’s not what we want to do. We also stay away from any anachronism. We don’t want to write pop songs: it could be wrong and it kills the beauty on screen. It just doesn’t look right.
Do you see similarities at work The Shape of Water and Pinocchio ?
Yes! Again, the social and political content is very strong. So that’s for sure. The second thing is that Guillermo loves music, so it’s a huge opportunity for me because I know him Personally want me to push the boundaries and the concert shines. The passion for working with Guillermo and The Shape of Water.
What was it like to write an original song with Guillermo?
For the first time for us, when you work with Guillermo, he has an endless desire and a smile on his face that shows he is excited about the idea that we can create something. He’s a creator. He likes to create creatures, like The Shape of Water , but writing songs or writing music is the same, creating creatures that you send out the window. the whole world. So join him The process of starting was very, very… very interesting. A lot of work, but a lot of fun. Guillermo and Katz, I think, the three of us really captured what the film was asking for, which is, you know, define the characters and expand on the emotions they’re conveying. Could it be fear? Could it be depression?
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.