‘Luca‘ is a 2021 CGI animated Pixar film that had the honor of being the studio’s first feature film to have its release on Disney Plus. It is directed by Enrico Casarosa, based on a screenplay by Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones.
Luca (Jacob Tremblay) is a “sea monster” living off the coast of an Italian seaside village of Portorosso in 1959. After he finds an alarm clock and a playing card, he becomes curious about the surface world. He encounters Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer), who lives on a nearby island and begins hanging out with him. Luca’s parents Lorenzo (Jim Gaffigan) and Daniela (Maya Rudolph) confront their son, threatening to send him to the “deep.” Luca rebels and flees with Alberto to Portorosso. They meet a local girl named Giulia (Emma Berman) who dreams of beating the town bully Ercole (Saverio Raimondo) in a race that features swimming, eating, and a bicycle ride. Luca and Alberto convince her to let them be a part of her team so they raise enough to purchase a Vespa to “travel the world.” As the trio work at it, Luca and Alberto discover they want different things from their exploration as cracks in their friendship form.
As for animation, Pixar continues to blow my mind. It was incredible the way the character designs, action sequences, and background illustrations all came together. It was no small feat and I applaud their animators for continuing to bring quality content in that regard.
I also really enjoyed the voice acting. They did a good job of bringing in a wide variety of actors and actresses who brought their characters to life. This is another thing that Pixar excels at, identifying talent that will bring uniqueness to their roles, instead of just nabbing someone who is famous for their name on the poster.
The plot is splendid. I liked the angle of two friends going on a sort of “coming-of-age” adventure to discover what it is to be human. While Luca wants to grow and learn, Alberto fakes a desire to travel, but he really wants to be part of a family. Now the movie does become sort of basic once the two adventures arrive in the town as far as its themes, but I still thought the film was imaginative and clever.
There were mixed feelings over Soul, Toy Story 4, Onward, and even with this feature, you can see a changing of the guard when it comes to who is storyboarding and overseeing the stories. While the magic of Pixar is starting to wain, it is still there. Hopefully, they can recapture, though it seems unlikely with Disney taking a tighter hold on the reins.
Bottom line, Luca is a splendid adventure that kids and their parents can enjoy together. It is not as brilliant as some of their past works, but it still maintains that Pixar vibe.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some cartoonish violence
FAVORITE QUOTES: We can go anywhere, do anything… we just gotta stick together!
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Hilda and the Mountain King and Firedrake the Silver Dragon. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
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