**Warning – Spoilers ahead for Pinocchio**

Not only has Netflix’s adaptation of the classic puppet tale detoured down a darker route but it’s also given us mysterious characters to get to know and we explore who Podesta is in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.

The Moving Picture Company, known for 1917, The Jungle Book, and Life of Pi, is the visual effects studio behind the stop-motion animation.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson – who is making his directorial debut – the stop-motion animated musical Pinocchio is based on the 1883 Italian novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi with Patrick McHale on board to write the screenplay alongside del Toro.

Who is Podesta in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio? Is He an Original Character?

The Podesta is introduced in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio as a secondary antagonist and Italian right-hand man to Benito Mussolini.

A podesta was a name given to the “holder of the highest civil office in the government” during Italy’s late middle ages, defined by Wikipedia.

In the animation, the Podesta’s real name is never given but it is divulged that he lives with his wife and son Candlewick.

After noticing Pinocchio’s magical talents during Count Volpe’s show, he recruits the puppet into the Italian army.

The Podesta is an original character created by del Toro and did not appear in Collodi’s source material nor in the Disney animation. However, the character does mirror the Coachman from the original narrative.

Podesta in a crowd with a boy in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – Cr. Netflix, YouTube.

Who Voices Podesta? Meet Ron Perlman

Podesta is voiced by well-known actor Ron Perlman who is famed for playing Hellboy in del Toro’s film adaptation and Clay in Sons of Anarchy.

Perlman has delivered a number of roles in video games, including the Anchorman in Fallout 4 and Campbell in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

The actor also has a number of upcoming roles in film, including his reprising role as Optimus Primal in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

"Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" - Red Carpet - The Red Sea International Film Festival
Photo by Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival

Meet the Voice Cast of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Pinocchio’s cast includes an ensemble of talented actors, including Inglorious Basterds’ Christoph Waltz, The Lord of the Rings’ Cate Blanchett, and Doctor Strange’s Tilda Swinton.

Obi-Wan Kenobi star Ewan McGregor and Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard also join the ensemble as characters Cricket and the Podesta’s son, Candlewick.

Below, we have listed the animation’s full cast list:

Pinocchio (voiced by Gregory Mann) with other puppets in Pinocchio
© 2022

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is now streaming on Netflix.

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