If there is one studio doing things right it’s Disney’s Pixar Animation. Correct me if I am wrong but overall their features have won a whopping sixteen Academy Awards, ten Golden Globes, and eleven Grammys. The latest two Academy Awards went to Soul this past weekend. One for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score.
Now in 2021, Disney/Pixar is getting ready to debut their next animated feature, Luca. This film is a heartwarming story about two teenage sea monsters. Audiences will witness them experience a life-changing summer. One where they will step out of their comfort zone and through their adventures on dry land as well as underwater will find out who they are meant to be.
In the film, we will be introduced to the feature character, Luca. During a recent press event, we learned all about Luca and his design with the help of the creative team. Screenwriter Jesse Andrews describes him as, “a shy, polite, introverted, rule-following kid who has a secret desire to see the world and learn all he can,” says Andrews. “But he’s been told his whole life that sea monsters should never go above the surface of the water where all the interesting stuff seems to be happening.”
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“He’s never been to the surface,” says director Enrico Casarosa. “When we meet him, he’s beginning to feel that his world is a little too small for him. He starts to follow his nose a bit, venturing farther and farther from the underwater meadow where he takes care of the goatfish. Once a rule-follower, suddenly Luca is checking out an object that fell off a boat. That’s how he meets Alberto.”
Of course, we all know the dangers of keeping kids sheltered from, well… anything. There is a chance that curiosity will get the better of them. This is the case with Luca, who has developed a secret fascination with all things human. This is further fueled by items that drop into the sea from the surface. “Luca knows nothing of the surface,” says screenwriter Mike Jones. “So these items are glimpses of another world—as if it were an object of an extraterrestrial landing on Earth. He’s a young imaginative kid, so when he meets Alberto—who has actual knowledge of these objects—it’s incredibly intriguing to Luca.”
So we have Luca and his figurative “fuel”, we are now only missing a spark to kick off a grand adventure. Enter a fellow sea monster, Alberto. He has ventured far beyond the surface. Something that Luca looks up to. So when Alberto drags Luca out of the water he discovers that he has the ability to transform into humans. The catch is they can’t get wet. Now their seemingly endless adventure can begin.
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Luca’s character and the other sea monsters were inspired by creatures that the creative team found on old maps that date back to the renaissance. Also, they looked at scientific illustrations of fish from the region and Japanese illustrations of dragons and serpents. These characters are meant to be charming and colorful, quite the opposite of scary. According to production designer Daniela Strijleva, it took a year to design Luca. This is because as they designed him, they discovered that with also being an introvert and someone curious, he was also a dreamer. Which led to some changes that she says really brought the characters to life.
Jacob Tremblay is the voice of Luca. “There’s an earnestness about him,” says Casarosa. “He’s a master at playing anxious and polite—someone who’s timid and wants to please. He’s an amazing actor.”
With what we have seen from Luca so far, I am very excited to join Luca and Alberto on their journey! Along with Luca and the other fabulous characters, there is also a beautiful and bright colorful Italy that we are transported to that we will talk about in another piece!
Here is the synopsis for Disney/Pixar’s Luca:
Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film “Luca” 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: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface. Directed by Academy Award® nominee Enrico Casarosa (“La Luna”) and produced by Andrea Warren (“Lava,” “Cars 3”).
Disney/Pixar’s Luca is set to be released exclusively on Disney+ on June 18th, 2021.