Blue sea, amazing landscapes, a great friendship… And a lot of pasta! These are the ingredients of Pixar’s Luca, an amazing animation movie set in an imaginary Italian town on Liguria’s coast, Portorosso, where two young sea monsters live their crazy adventures.
The past two years have been tough for all of us, Covid-19 really put our minds under stress and we have passed way more time than expected in our homes. Maybe not all of us will be able to have a nice trip to an exotic destination this year, both because of the difficulty of travelling in this period and for different countries’ limitations that change day by day… but why not dream about it with a fresh-baked Disney Pixar movie?
One of the new animation movies of 2021 is Luca, an incredible story of friendship, diversity and inclusion that takes place on one of the beautiful Italian coasts, in the small town of Portorosso. The movie is computer-animated and directed by Enrico Casarosa.
The main characters of this adventure are Luca Paguro and Alberto Scorfano (fun fact: their last names are Italian words of funny fishes!), two young sea monsters that love adventures and are so ready to discover the world outside the water.
Are you curious to learn a bit more about this movie? Let’s watch the trailer together!
Luca: Spoiler Free Plot
Luca Paguro is a young sea monster that farms goatfish in an isolated part of the ocean and lives with his family. His mind is very curious, he daydreams all day long and wonders about fantastic adventures in exotic lands, but Daniela, his mother, is fiercely protective and constantly warns him against getting caught by anybody on a boat.
During one of his boring days, he spots a clock and a card on the ocean floor. He is very fascinated by those objects and keeps them jealously in a hidden spot. But another sea monster is looking for those objects, Alberto Scorfano. Alberto is without any doubt a "cool guy": he steals objects from boats when fishermen are distracted, he lives in an abandoned tower near the sea by himself and has no one giving him rules.
Luca is mesmerized by Alberto’s life, and join him in an afternoon on his tower to play together. It is in that tower that Luca will find a picture of what will become his passion: a Vespa. A Vespa is a popular moped in Italy, and was even more popular during the ’50s, the time when the movie is set.
The kids try many times to build their own Vespa ending up breaking it every time, but this experience really strengthens their bond and give them a common objective: finding their own Vespa in the nearby town of Portorosso.
Here their adventure will begin: in Portorosso they will participate in a competition that includes biking, swimming and eating pasta to win the money for their beloved Vespa, but it will not be easy trying to hide their true identity in a town that hates sea monsters and want them all dead.
Insights of Luca, the new Disney Pixar movie
Luca is a fun and entertaining animation movie that will keep you dreaming about the crystal clear water of Italy. Being the story built around the sea world and Luca discovering a new world, water and colors were an extremely important part of creating the movie. In animation movies, colors and textures are tools to express the emotions of the moment and the personality of the characters, and Luca reflects this wonderfully.
But this movie is also a great example of how Disney is trying to give justice to different cultures all around the world, giving a realistic perspective of those countries and avoiding racial stereotypes:
“We didn’t want to water the stories down; we want to tell the real, most authentic version.” These are the words of Andrea Warren, Luca’s producer. “Enrico, the director, was a resource of a lot of that, but we did also create, what we call, a ‘Pixar culture trust’, as part of which many folks from that area came together and it was wonderful to hear a different perspective on what authenticity means. We appreciated all of that advice and input in creating the best version and the most authentic version that we could, of Portorosso).”
Enrico Casarosa was also well aware of the importance of creating a final product that could reflect real traditions and habits of his own culture:
“Our main theme is actually friendship, but a sense of self-acceptance is a huge part of this. Talking about the stereotypes, it’s an interesting challenge, and that is why we need the ‘culture trust’ to double-check all our assumptions, so we could bring someone to the place in an authentic, loving way. This is a love letter.”
Luca, why we loved it!
Luca is a great metaphor for all of those who feel or have ever felt different from others and were somehow put aside because of their way of being special. The fact that the main characters are sea monsters is a way to make all of us identify with them, because all of us, at some point in our life, felt like a “monster”, especially at a young age.
The whole story develops around the idea of self-acceptance and community acceptance, which are two faces of the same medal. Community acceptance has for sure a big role in helping us build our self-acceptance, especially at a young age; on the other side, self-acceptance should be our pillar when approaching the world, because only in this way we will be able to show the world our real worth.