Sometimes when I see a Pixar movie, I'm pretty sure I'll need to watch it one or two more times before I can do anything but say "wow, that was amazing". Luca (2021) is one more Pixar movie to elicit this response from me, and, once again, it gets a "wow" on every level. Story, design, music... you name it, this movie hits all the buttons.
Not every Pixar film has done this for me, but certainly Soul and Luca were sorely needed movies for my brain here over the past year. While Soul spoke to me, now, as an adult, and my concerns about "what the hell, exactly, am I doing with my life?", Luca was both a reminder of the value of pushing boundaries that we did as kids as we looked beyond our own yards for what else was out there, and as an adult - maybe that same need continues to exist? Even when people just want to protect us?
By now you've likely seen the trailers - and while I was dazzled by the look and feel I saw, I wasn't sure what the story would be, or if there would be enough story. One of my criticisms of other animation or kids' film efforts is that they become too fixated on gags and easy laughs and character and story just feels recycled and that, in turn, makes the jokes a little hacky.
Luca avoids the trap, and tells the story of two boys from under the sea who come to land, and a small port town in coastal Italy where they dream of obtaining a Vespa and riding off into the sunset to explore the world. A world neither knows a dang thing about - one because he's a sheltered homebody, and the other a stray, abandoned and playing it safe on his island, thinking he's got it sorted out.
Soon, a new friend starts opening doors for them, gets them involved in a triathlon, and a hunt for sea monsters ensues. I ain't spoiling anymore.
I'm hoping to grab Ryan M again and do a podcast on Luca soon, so I can ask about making the movie in the pandemic, and then gush about the design of the film, from character (which is very non-Disney) to the town to the underwater sequences to the dream sequences... but first I need to get in touch with the guy. So, maybe? Soonish? In the meantime, go watch Luca.