Synopsis: Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s Luca is a coming-of-age story about one young boy. He experiences an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides. Luca (voice of Jacob Tremblay) shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, Alberto (voice of Jack Dylan Grazer). However, all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret. They are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface. Luca is directed by Academy Award® nominee Enrico Casarosa (La Luna) and produced by Andrea Warren (Lava, Cars 3).
Review: Luca was a marvelous antidote after the pandemic lockdown. Director Enrico Casarosa filtered his own childhood through a fantasy lens.
The storytelling contained equal nods to surrealism and magical realism. Additionally, there were numerous Disney/Pixar touches, including the awesome cat Machiavelli.
The plot was fairly standard. I’m sure this was by design to highlight universal themes. Casarosa and his colleagues also thinned the plot to accentuate the travelogue qualities within the world-building.
Luca was a three-hander with an excellent supporting cast. Jacob Tremblay voiced the titular lead extremely evocatively. Jack Dylan Grazer was equally layered as Alberto matured. Emma Berman played Alberto’s human foil perfectly. These young actors have bright futures ahead.
The animation throughout was superb. The Pixar team deftly blended Saturn-bound sea monsters with idealized townscapes.
I particularly appreciated the Disney+ featurette detailing research trips to Italy. Both sea and land vistas were breathtaking.
The people Casarosa and his team encountered were equally wonderful. These included an elderly shipwright with his life and tools on the walls.
My one quibble is the behind-the-scenes featurettes should have also included their time photographing Vespas. The iconic rides were that central to the coming-of-age plot.
The music by Dan Romer was lovely and lyrical. It was particularly well-suited to the more surreal flights of fancy throughout the film.
I thoroughly enjoyed Luca. Moreover, I would love to see a series of short films set in that universe. Disney+ would be the perfect platform for that content.
Luca is streaming exclusively on Disney+ now.
- Voice Acting10
- Soundtrack & Incidental Music10