Fun little trivia: this year my cousins adopted a dog and named him Luca which seems very coincidental to Pixar’s newest film. In 2012 Enrico Casarosa directed the Pixar short La Luna, nine years later he’s made his feature length direction debut with Luca. Pixar’s Luca was not only my most anticipated movie of 2021 but also my most anticipated Pixar movie since Incredibles 2. This movie is about a sea monster named Luca who meets another sea monster named Alberto who’s been to the surface. They both start a friendship having adventures on the surface while trying not to be ousted as monsters in a town that hunts sea monsters.
This story could’ve so easily had another liar revealed moment but thankfully the conflict isn’t about the lie at all. We still however do have that whole man vs monster story that we’ve seen a lot especially in Disney. Fortunately for a movie about sea monsters this is one of Pixar’s most grounded films. There could’ve been a giant war between man and sea monsters but there isn’t and I’m glad that we went with a more laid-back tone. What helps is the that the movie takes place in summer. Summer is usually the season where most coming-of-age stories take place in and Luca really captured the that feeling perfectly. I can see myself watching this along with A Goofy Movie every summer now and having a great time.
The heart of the movie is the friendship between Luca and Alberto. My favorite character however has to be Giulia. She’s very likable and I like how there’s no love triangle and are just platonic. All there of these kids bring a lot of great interactions. Ercole is kind of a younger Gaston. While I am glad this isn’t a twist or force of nature villain, he’s still kind of annoying and unpleasant to watch. Speaking of characters, I know I praise Pixar’s animation in every review but this one was really special. I really like the characters designs in this film. All the characters have different shapes and have great facial expressions. It kind of reminds me of Aardman studios. I also like the idea that whenever a sea monster gets wet, they turn into there sea form. It makes for a lot of creative animation tricks. Though it would’ve been clever if at the end when the boys cry you see the sea monster skin a little. There’s also some really cute illustrations in the end credits.
Also John Ratzenberger is absent again! Why is he missing in every Pixar movie released exclusively on Disney+? That’s….not a good sign. Luca feels like a story that was very personal to the director. Luca may have been one of the smallest Pixar movies in terms of scale it’s one of the most enjoyable ones you can just sit down and relax while watching. It’s one of the best movies to come out on Disney+ and one of the movies to come out this year. You definitely don’t have to be stupido to enjoy Luca.
+ Laid back tone
+ Luca, Alberto, and Giulia
+ Summer feeling
+ The animation
-Man vs monster story
Score: A or A+