Luca has Disney / Pixar releasing a literal fish out of water story as it’s sets out a coming of age story that is so un-Pixar that you would be forgiven for thinking it was produced by another animation house house.
Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, the original animated feature 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: he is a sea monster from another world just below the water’s surface.
Luca is not your usual Pixar fare, a complete departure from the Incredible Soul that was released on Disney+ on Boxing Day. Luca is what you would imagine it would be if Pixar decided to make a Studio Ghibli film. The coming of age drama is handled brilliantly by director Enrico Casarosa, with the two boys Luca (Jacob Tremblay) & Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) having a stolen summer on dry land as they discover Vespa’s instead of having to spend the season with Uncle Ugo (Sacha Baron Cohen), when Luca’s parents (Maya Rudolph & Jim Gaffigan) find out he’s been heading to the surface with his new friend Alberto.
There’s some shades of The Little Mermaid here, although without all the singing and pining. Although it doesn’t grab you like other Pixar films do, it’s a casually moving drama, which you still connect to with memories of the end of your childhood with that one last summer.
The animation is as you expect absolutely perfect and a lyrical part of the movie as much as the story itself. The finale really really works beautifully and raises the bar of what is actually a average release for the power house animators, but they still manage no matter what to leave you an emotional wreck come the end credits. Luca scores a big win having a platform like Disney+ to release on as improbably wouldn’t have been a huge success in cinemas due to its plodding nature.
In the end, Luca doesn’t do anything spectacular, however it’s still better than your average animated movie. Let’s just hope that it manages to find it’s audience. Finally is it us or does Giuila’s (Emma Berman) father (Marco Barricelli) more than resemble like the dad in Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs?
#PixarLuca is streaming now on Disney+