D: Enrico Casarosa

Disney / Pixar (Andrea Warren)

US 🇺🇸 2021

95 mins


W: Jesse Andrews, Mike Jones, Enrico Casarosa & Simon Stephenson

Mus: Dan Romer

voices of: Jacob Tremblay (Luca Paguro), Jack Dylan Grazer (Alberto Scorfano), Emma Berman (Giulia Marcovaldo), Saverio Raimondo (Ercole Visconti), Marco Barricelli (Massimo Marcovaldo), Maya Rudolph (Daniela Paguro)

Though nowhere near the heights of Disney-Pixar releases at the turn of the century, Luca is an enjoyable coming-of-age story from the animation studio.

Luca is a sea monster who can turn into the form of a regular boy when upon land, but is banished from leaving the sea by his parents, especially with the mountainous Italian town of Portorosso nearby, where some of the residents are hunters of sea monsters.

Nevertheless, Luca is intrigued by life outside the ocean and befriends Alberto, another sea monster who has adapted to life on the surface, as well as Giulia, a 13-year-old who is an outcast amongst others of her age in the small town.  Together, they aim to participate in and win a triathlon, though they face stiff competition from the small town’s bully and main antagonist of the movie… all whilst Luca’s parents are trying to locate their son.

The animation throughout is fine, especially in the Italian setting which was modelled on director Enrico Casarosa’s childhood growing up in Genoa and much tribute is paid to Italian life and culture.

It’s no Toy Story, Inside Out or Finding Nemo, but it’s the most enjoyable Pixar release that I’ve watched in recent years and certainly my favourite animated film of 2021.