Guillermo Del Toro season is approaching, with his new film, Crimson Peak, set to open next weekend. And with the new Del Toro comes a chance for fresh looks at some old Del Toro, specifically his most universally adored bit of cinematic genius, Pan’s Labyrinth.
In a video from YouTube channel Nerdwriter, Pan’s Labyrinth gets the dissection treatment, with numerous aspects of the movie’s artful turns explained. A couple of the primary points are in how Del Toro deviates from the fairy tale standard set up by Walt Disney, whose films tend to be faithful recreations of the source material and thus perpetuate archaic, sometimes harmful value systems.
Pan’s Labyrinth becomes all about disobedience, as demonstrated both in del Toro’s storytelling and through the character’s actions. “Where in many fairy tales, disobedience is the act that sets the story in motion,” the video notes, “here disobedience is framed as a vital and important quality.” It is ultimately del Toro’s own disobedience from fulfilling audience’s narrative expectations that Pan’s Labyrinth is able to to set itself apart from fairy tales that came before it.