It Is Extremely Easy To Become Enamoured With Disney•Pixar’s ‘Luca’ – Review
What if all you wanted to do was explore a world that was entirely different from the one you’ve been living in? But since the dwellers of this world being terribly afraid of you, you had no choice but to hide your real identity from everyone? Well, that is Luca in a nutshell (or rather a seashell).
The latest film from Disney•Pixar follows a young sea monster named Luca (Jacob Tremblay) as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery and potential danger when he ventures to the surface world. Having always been intrigued by what might be above, Luca is also fearful of the sea monster-killing humans who he’s been taught to have a hatred for. This fear is something that his parents, particularly his mother (Maya Rudolph), have drilled into his head for as long as he can remember. However, a surprise meeting with a fellow sea monster, Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) brings Luca his first out-of-water experience. Luca has to make some tough decisions, even if it disappoints his family.
With his new friend Alberto teaching him all he needs to know about the surface, the pair embark on an adventure to the nearby village of Portorosso. There, the pair do all they can to stay hidden and along the way, they meet a new friend named Giulia (Emma Berman). She is skeptical of the existence of sea monsters and shows them around the village, unaware that she is entertaining a pair of sea monsters. Luca and Alberto are wholly invested in what this new world has to offer them, even if they can do without some of the “land monsters”. But of course, not everything is fun and games, and unfortunately, Luca and Alberto find this out the hard way.
Directed by Enrico Casarosa, Luca is a delightful addition to the Disney•Pixar slate. Not only is it visually stunning with bright and lively colours and textures at play (granted, we’ve likely come to expect nothing less from Pixar), but the story behind the film is a great coming-of-age tale that is sure to delight children and adults alike. As stories about friendships go, Luca is most definitely one of the best. While it shows us the true joy that camaraderie can bring, it also doesn’t shy away from the fact that friendships can be complicated. While making new friends and trying to expand friend groups, it is not unusual for the green monster of jealousy to rear its ugly head. People–or in this case land monsters and sea monsters–try to do their best for one another, but just like people, sea monsters are not perfect.
In gaining a new land monster friend, Luca nearly loses his best friend, learning some tough but valuable lessons along the way. Not only does Luca capture friendships and all of their ups and downs perfectly. It is a beautiful tale about a found family with a strong message of self-acceptance; that despite the differences we all have, it is the similarities between us and understanding that bring us all together. Of course, while Luca is not the first film to address such topics, it does do it in a way that is likely to truly resonate with its audience and was ultimately a joy to watch.
The entire cast brings all of the characters throughout the movie alive with such efficiency, it feels like much more than an animated movie. The liveliness and vibrancy that comes to life through the voice work of the film’s three young stars (Tremblay, Grazer and Berman) are just what the film needs to keep it grounded in reality, but still capture all of its magical and fantasy elements with ease. Luca never tries to be anything but what it is and due to this, it never gets lost in some kind of bigger picture or unworldliness that can plague films of a fantasy nature–even if they are geared toward a young audience.
With vibrant visuals, an amazing voice cast and important messages, Luca solidifies itself as one of Disney•Pixar’s best and is sure to delight viewers of every age. It was so easy to become enamoured with everything that Luca has to offer. Get ready for an enchanting trip to Portorosso that will leave you wondering if it’s best to take a leap into the ocean or hop on a Vespa for your next big adventure, and be prepared to meet several friends along the way.