Pixar’s new film is a wonderful Italian adventure that will melt your heart
If you’re looking for a good reason to return to theaters or to purchase a Disney+ membership, Luca, the new Pixar animated film distributed by Walt Disney Studios, is for sure one of them: the new film, by Italian director Enrico Casarosa, will be released on June 18, 2021.
The film is set between the 1950s and 1960s near a fictional town called Portorosso, inspired by Cinque Terre, a coastal area within Liguria, in the northwest of Italy: Luca is a small sea monster that lives in the depths. Like his parents, and other creatures, he has a particular ability: he can assume a human form every time he’s on land. Intrigued by some objects fallen from the boats of local fishermen, Luca will leave his natural habitat to explore the world of humans. Alberto, another shapeshifter accustomed to contacts with the outside, will be his partner in this adventure. The two will experience an unforgettable summer in Portorosso, where they taste new foods, get to know Italian culture and meet Giulia, the daughter of a fisherman that becomes their best friend.
Luca is maybe one of the best Pixar films in recent years and this time it’s not just about the animation: the story is inspired by the childhood of the director, Enrico Casarosa, in Genoa, and it’s a poetic, heartfelt and exciting tale. Several Pixar artists traveled to Italy to make research for the project and maybe this is why creatives at Pixar really took care about the smallest details. I bet everyone will love the film, from children to adults, not to mention the appeal the film could have beyond Italian borders: in such a difficult moment, two “animated children” in love with Piaggio’s Vespa and trenette with pesto, will give tourism in Italy a boost way better than any advertising campaign. The animation of the film pays homage to classic Italian filmmakers like Federico Fellini, but it is also inspired by the drawings and stop motion works of Hayao Miyazaki. The soundtrack includes some of classic italian 50s-60s’ style hits by artists Edoardo Bennato and Gianni Morandi.
Luca is also a beautiful story about diversity and acceptance: the little sea monster will be warned about the perils of the human world and the obstacles he might front to be included in the Portorosso community, in case he reveals his true identity. But Luca and Alberto’s adventure in Portorosso will eradicate many prejudices allowing all the characters to accept others and be accepted for what they really are.
The original voice cast of Luca includes actors Jacob Tremblay (Room), Jack Dylan Grazer (It) and Emma Berman (Go! Go! Cory Carson).