Pixar’s LUCA (2021) is a charming coming-of-age adventure fit for all audiences

The latest feature from the animation masters over at Pixar has arrived in the form of Luca, a coming-of-age adventure set on the Italian Riviera about a young boy, who is really a sea monster in disguise, exploring life on the surface in what will certainly be a life-changing experience.

When it comes to Luca, one thing is certain – this is a very sweet and charming story from the moment it begins to the very last scene. The writers have excelled in crafting a story that is fun, full of heart and overall very uplifting, even in the moments where it pulls on your heart strings. The whole vibe of this movie is just delightfully joyous, to the point where you don’t really want it to end. There’s nothing spectacularly new about the premise or the turns it takes along the way, but it’s a thoroughly engaging ride regardless of whether it hits some familiar beats. The main trio of characters are all instantly likeable, which makes their respective journeys that much more interesting to follow. Overall, it’s a narrative that’s a joy to watch for audiences both young and old – something that Pixar manage to accomplish with most of their films.

One of the highlights of the film, and the defining factor that really sets it apart, is the way that everything from the story to the music and, of course, the setting is enveloped in Italian culture. It’s creates a rich experience that transports you all the way to the Italian Riviera and gives the film a unique identity. Taking the beauty of Italy and transporting that onto the screen is the stunning animation we’ve come to expect from Pixar. The landscapes are picturesque and there is unmistakable beauty in every frame. The depth of detail, from the foreground to the background is impeccable. The coastal setting lends itself to some stunning scenic shots, and the underwater sequences also bring another level of breathtaking animation. Even just the design of the sea monsters is stunning to look at.

The young lead cast, made up of Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer and Emma Berman really bring their respective characters to life with top notch voice performances. The heart and emotion of the story is a credit to the writing, but it’s also a result of these great performances to really make those moments as impactful as possible.

In the end, there’s not much more to say about Luca. It’s a very pleasant, charming story that’s plenty of fun and I didn’t have any gripes with it. The animation is amazing, voice cast are great, and there’s plenty to love about the story. The film’s identity lies in its setting on the Italian Riviera – a detail that’s crucial to the visuals, score, narrative, characters and everything in between. With something in it for audiences of all ages, there’s no reason not to check out Luca on Disney+ today!


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