Pixar’s latest CGI fantasy is an endearing but completely predictable coming-of-age tale. Luca tells the story of two teenage sea monsters who pretend to be human boys and discover “la dolce vita” in a picturesque Italian coastal village. They devour pasta, sip ice cream and dream of owning a Vespa; that will take her around the world in style. Luca is a pastiche celebration of Italian culture, cinema and music of the 1960s. It is certainly a sweet and enjoyable experience, but it lacks the dramatic weight of the classic films made by the famous animation studio.
Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay) is a green-scaled sea monster with gills and a tail. Under the watchful eyes of his protective parents Daniela (Maya Rudolph) and Lorenzo (Jim Gaffigan), he tends fish on the ocean floor. Lucais curious about the strange objects that come down from the surface of the water, but is warned that interacting with people means certain death. A chance encounter with another sea monster boy, the rebellious Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer) leads to a shocking surprise. When they’re dry, their skin changes, the tails disappear, and they can pretend to be humans.
Alberto and Luca Explore the nearby village of Portorosso. You will quickly fall in love with the idyllic life with sun, food and parties. The boys want to escape their boring underwater existence on a Vespa. What you can achieve if you win the village’s famous marathon with swimming, cycling and of course pasta eating. They find an ally in Giulia (Emma Berman) and a cruel adversary in Ercole (Saverio Raimondo), the city’s disgusting thug. The guys have to win the race while trying to hide their secret. The city has offered a significant reward for catching or killing the fabled sea monsters.
Luca takes the traditional mermaid or, in this case, watermen storyline and gives it a youthful twist. The moral here is to find your true self while facing unfair discrimination. There is also a subplot of jealousy and abandonment. Alberto, who you get the feeling that he really “likes” LucaShe is annoyed when Guilia takes center stage. Both boys have to deal with their feelings in a strange new world. Everything plays out exactly as expected, so there is never any doubt about the outcome of the story. The film is vanilla in that regard. The narrative would have served better with a few twists.
Luca‘s nice animation is 90 minutes for Vespa and Italian tourism. I wanted to buy a scooter and a tub of ice after seeing the movie. Portorosso’s portrayal of simple village life will swoon audiences of all ages. The producers do a fantastic job of capturing the romantic setting. They originally wanted the legendary composer Ennio Morricone (The dollar trilogy, The untouchables) for the score and soundtrack, but he died before filming. Luca serves as an appropriate homage to his work, lazy summer days, growing up and of course, wonderful Italy. Luca is a production by Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures. It will premiere exclusively on Disney + worldwide on June 18th.
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