Luca: Pixar Takes Viewers On An Adventure In Italy

Luca and Alberto in Luca. © 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Disney and Pixar take us on quite the adventure in Italy when Luca comes into your homes on Disney+ as the film hits the streaming service.

PSA: Please stick around for the credits as there is a post-credits scene.

One can’t help but feel bad for Pixar on some level. This is the second consecutive Pixar film to go straight to streaming because of the pandemic. I don’t doubt that the film would do solid box office. My guess is that Disney thinks that more families would rather watch at home than in a packed theater. Regardless, this is a bonafide awards contender and while the film is streaming on Disney+, it is getting a very small theatrical release. At the very least, there will be a one-week engagement at Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre.

Enrico Casarosa, who directs Luca, previously directed the 2011 Oscar-nominated short film, La Luna. The Italian filmmaker pays homage not just to his native Italy but to films that were produced in Italy. Among them, Roman Holiday. The film is among many easter eggs to appear in the film. Speaking of the work that goes into animation, in his sea monster form, Luca has 3,436 scales on his body. Pretty impressive!

Luca is a coming-of-age film that takes us to a town, Portorosso, on the Italian Riviera in the late 1950s-early 1960s. I don’t know about you but I’m loving the more recent films coming out of Pixar. We’ve come a long way since they were making films about anamorphic toys and cars. But when push comes to shove, this really is a metaphorical film. The sea monsters could be any of us who feel different. Maybe they’re a metaphor for the LGBTQ community but I don’t know. In any event, Luca (Jacob Tremblay) meets Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) and together, they journey to the surface where sea monsters change into human form. This part of the plot is given away on the poster. Anyway, Luca starts to have the time of his life!

The humans living in the coastal town of Portorosso see sea monsters as a threat. And again, you can look at this on another level as being a metaphor. Luca has never seen the surface–his parents are strict. But in some way, his adventures remind me of Ariel in The Little Mermaid but without the sea witch and giving up one’s voice. Once Luca makes his way to the surface, life will never be the same. This doesn’t come without his parents, Daniela (Maya Rudolph) and Lorenzo (Jim Gaffigan) freaking out to no one’s surprise. With the adventures on the surface, they threaten to send Luca to live with Uncle Ugo (Sacha Baron Cohen).

Luca is a different adventure from Disney-Pixar but it’s still a heartwarming tale.

DIRECTOR: Enrico Casarosa
SCREENWRITER: Jesse Andrews, Mike Jones
CAST: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Saverio Raimondo, Maya Rudolph, Marco Barricelli, Jim Gaffigan, Sandy Martin

Disney and Pixar launch Luca on Disney+ on June 18, 2021.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.