"Luca", Disney and Pixar's latest original movie, is the perfect summer movie for all families. So grab some gelato and dive right in!
Director Enrico Casarosa delivers a film that beautifully depicts friendship, wonder and adventure. Premiering on Disney+ starting June 18, it's the uplifting summer movie everyone could see thanks to the Italian Riviera landscapes. It might not be one of the most astounding animated film from the studios, but it carries a memorable and heart-warming story.
The plot is vaguely similar to "The Little Mermaid." There isn't any romantic motivation, but the lead character is enamored with life beyond the sea. Luca (Jacob Tremblay) is a young sea monster who looks after his family's goatfish herd, but he believes the world he lives in is much smaller than what's above the surface. But his parents Daniela (Maya Rudolph) and Lorenzo (Jim Gaffigan) warn him that humans are dangerous.
His curiosity is further fueled by a record player and other human artifacts that he finds near his family's kelp pasture. So when he meets Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer), a teenage sea monster who has more experience on land, his wide-eyed imagination grows even higher.
Disney and Pixar’s Luca | Official Trailer | Disney+ www.youtube.com
Luca ditches his herding duties to spend time with Alberto on land. Thanks to sea monster evolution, the duo can blend in with humans when they're dry. So the two become fast friends by building "vespas" from scraps and testing models down a steep hill. When Luca's parents find out and threaten to send him to his weird uncle's home in the deep sea, they dream of fleeing the ocean and riding a Vespa across the world. To get a Vespa, they visit Portorosso where they meet a fellow "underdog" named Giulia (Emma Berman), her intimidating father Massimo (Marco Barricelli) and town bully Ercule (Saverio Raimondo). The boys discover that the only thing standing between them and their dreams is a town triathlon, which awards a team of three with prize money after winning swimming, eating and biking competitions.
This film is an instant classic with one of the best friendships in Disney and Pixar Animation history. Alberto, Giulia and Luca have their ups and downs, but the three are inseparable. All three are extremely relatable: rule-following Luca with his wide-eyed imagination, fiery Giulia with her high energy and confident Alberto with his intense loyalty to friends. It's easy for viewers to imagine their own friendships embodied in these three.
The animation is gorgeous with detailed landscapes as waves ebb and flow over pebbles. There's tasteful inspiration from Japanese animation in "Luca" with caricatured features and emotions or realistic food art. And it's all heightened by scores from Dan Romer bringing a whimsical nostalgic feeling that everyone feels as a child.
The climax feels a bit too overwhelming. Viewers are hit with severe one-two punches within five minutes, which brings audiences on an emotional rollercoaster that's as intense as one of Alberto and Luca's Vespa tests.
But truly, the ride is worth the time. So benvenuto to Portorosso!
Watch "Luca" on Disney+ beginning June 18, 2021.
Follow the reporter Samantha Incorvaia on Twitter at @s_incorvaia.