We wouldn’t have “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” without Mark Gustafson, as the project was very much a collaboration between the two filmmakers. In a time where major outlets continue ignoring the fact that stop-motion director Henry Selick is the brain and artist behind the “Nightmare Before Christmas”, just because producer and cowriter Tim Burton has a bigger name, Gustafson’s contributions to del Toro’s Oscar-winning movie, and animation as an art form, shouldn’t be forgotten.
Taking to Social mediaTo share his grief at the loss of his director, del Toro penned, “I admired Mark Gustafson before I ever met him.” A pillar of stop motion animation — a true artist. A compassionate and sensitive man with a mordant sense of humor. A Legend — and a friend that inspired and gave hope to all around him. He died yesterday. Today we honor him and miss his presence.” He concluded his post with the following:
I am as honored to have been able to meet Mark as I am to have known the artist. As I said, he was someone I admired before I met him. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to share space and time with him, both during the highs as well as the lows. Always and forever.
Mark Gustafson, the voice and presence of Mark Gustafson, will be sorely missing by animators and audience for years to follow.