One thing that I love about Disney is its ability to take us to distant and unexpected places. They really do follow the motto of “a whole new world”. We have visited a variety of different cultures via Moana, Frozen, and Raya, and the Last Dragon. We have also been able to see a visual representation of emotions and explored the idea of our souls. For me personally, when I see an upcoming film, I get excited about the journey that the film will take me on and what will be its lasting impression.
Up next for Disney and Pixar is their original animated film, Luca. In this story, we find a heartwarming story about friendship and the importance of being brave and stepping out of your comfort zone. This will be shown from the perspective of two teenage sea monsters Luca and Alberto. Who despite living in a beautiful underwater world have an itching curiosity for all things human.
The Italian Riviera Setting for Luca
So what will be the setting for this beautiful coming of age story? The answer is a gorgeous seaside town on the Italian Riviera. This setting was championed by the director for Luca, Enrico Casarosa. The imagery that we’ll experience is something that is going to be coming out right out of his childhood. He talked about this during a recent press event.
“I had the luck to grow up in Genoa—a port city on the Italian Riviera,” he says. “It’s a very specific coast because it’s really steep—the mountains rise up from the ocean. The towns are stuck in time—they’re so picturesque. I always imagined them like little monsters coming out of the water.” Said Casarosa
“I spent my summers in smaller towns along the coast,” he continued. “The Cinque Terre is really close to where I grew up. These five little towns are lovely—stuck in time, really, because they’re so small. They’ve retained that old, seasoned look—so wonderful and picturesque. I moved to the U.S. in my 20s, and as often happens, the more you’re away from your roots, the more you value those roots.”
Part of the style of the setting has to do with Casarosa’s desire for Luca to feel like it was from the point of view of a 13-year-old. This is why the film takes place in the summer during a true nostalgic era in a creative and stunning painterly style. “The artist’s hand is something I think a lot about,” says Casarosa. “We try to bring some of that warmth and imperfection to the computer animation. And our story takes you to a place that’s fantastic, but also inspired by where I grew up.”
For some more context about the time period, Casarosa says that Luca roughly takes place between the late 1950s and early 1960s. But that the overall goal for the film was for it to feel timeless. Something that I feel was well done in the film. “I always felt there was something very lovely about the Italian Golden Age—the ’50s and ’60s. The cinema and the music of that time is iconic and special.” He commented about the era.
The style of characters is definitely different from what we are used to from Pixar. But Luca still contains those memorable characters and moments. All that in a beautiful Italian setting. Looks like I can check that destination off my Disney film passport!
Are you excited about the Italian setting in Disney Pixar’s Luca? Let us know in the comments below!
Disney Pixar’s Luca will be released on Disney+ on June 18th, 2021