Disney and Pixar's Luca will charm audiences of all ages with their sweet coming-of-age fantasy story of a young sea monster celebrating his new friendships in its latest vibrant CGI creation.
Pixar Luca Review
Luca tells the story of a young teenage sea monster and his newfound friend (Alberto) who spend a summer in Italy posing as humans (magical powers, and all that). The pair discover “la dolce vita” at the Italian seaside village of Portorossa where they meet another friend (Giulia), and the three dine on pasta al pesto, splurge on gelato, and dream of driving a Vespa around the globe.
Luca is a sweet, though an entirely predictable film about finding your true self despite facing unjust discrimination. Set in the late 1950s/early 1960s Italy, Luca and his friends set off to win the village's marathon of eating pasta, swimming, and bicycling to win the grand prize—a Vespa—to make their dreams of driving the Vespa around the world come true and escaping their restrictive underwater sea existence in lieu of living la dolce vita forever. My kids were quick to point out these teens were lacking in safety without helmets on their scooters.
Luca is quite logical and cautious, whereas Alberto is anything but with his boisterous adventurous personality. However, they are both curious so it doesn't take long for Alberto's boldness to rub off on Luca and their adventures begin. While their friendship grows, it is also tested. They meet Giulia and in some ways, they become closer, and in others, are tested more.
As you can imagine, the three have to work to keep their sea identities a secret—in this case, bullies as well as the fact that the Italian village has offered a hefty reward for mystical mer-creatures.
The movie's central theme of having to find your true self/being true to yourself despite facing obstacles (in this case, unjust discrimination and bullies) is timeless and relatable. There also seems to be a bit of a love triangle in the movie between the three teens (Luca, Alberto, and Giulia). Both Alberto and Giulia appear to have a crush on Luca. While nothing is ever said to make it official on this front, I really wish movies would either full-on address this or leave it out entirely. Give us a gay character, or don't, but leaving it open to interpretation is a cop-out.
Overall the movie is well done and an entertaining 90 minutes of beautiful travel-inspiring scenery that makes me want to book a flight to Italy. While predictable, that's not always a bad thing for a movie aimed at children.
Disney and Pixar’s original feature film Luca is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface. The voice cast features Jacob Tremblay as Luca Paguro, Jack Dylan Grazer as Alberto Scorfano, Emma Berman as Giulia Marcovaldo, Saverio Raimondo as town bully Ercole Visconti, Maya Rudolph as Luca’s mom Daniela, Marco Barricelli as Giulia’s dad Massimo, Jim Gaffigan as Luca’s dad Lorenzo, Sandy Martin as Luca’s grandma, and Giacomo Gianniotti as a local fisherman. Pixar Animation Studios’ 24th feature film is directed by Academy Award® nominee Enrico Casarosa (La Luna) and produced by Andrea Warren (Lava, Cars 3). Award-winning composer Dan Romer (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Maniac) created the score.
Disney and Pixar’s Luca is streaming on Disney+ June 18.