Luca Film Review (2021): Italian Fantasy Set in Childhood Memories

Various positive reviews of Luca’s film were scattered in cyberspace after Pixar and Disney raised this fantasy story about this sea monster. Set in 1950s Italy, Luca is a transformation from the childhood memories of the director, Enrico Casarosa, who previously made the Pixar short film La Luna (2011).

This film tells the story of a sea monster named Luca (Jacob Tremblay). He is in charge of taking care of dozens of small fish everyday, but dreams of seeing the world that is on the surface. Until finally he meets Alberto (Jack Dynal Grazer) who has been traveling on land for a long time.

The two of them meet Guilia (Emma Berman), a sailor’s son who intends to win the Portorosso Cup triathlon in his village. They devise a plan to defeat Ercole Visconti (Saverio Raimondo), the winner 5 times in a row.

Pixar fantasy and storytelling
Pixar brings stories to the fantasy genre and is made close to children. Instead of using wizards like in the story of Ariel the Little Mermaid , sea monsters can turn into humans when dry, and turn back into monsters when exposed to water. So that they can melt in the midst of humans.

Repeating the same formula from various other children’s films, Casarosa brings a unique story from his homeland. Produces a unique and fresh story about summer in the 50s era in Italy, complete with his love for Vespa.

Pixar’s magic can be seen from the detailed images but not too realistic. Hanging laundry, uneven cobblestones, and posters on the walls, create a beautiful real-world look. Made bright and slightly golden to support warm summer colors.

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The main narrative offered is quite easy to follow; three children compete to prepare for a race against the reigning champion, while Luca and Alberto hide their identities as sea monsters.

It wouldn’t be Pixar without a light and entertaining plot. Sitcoms and slapstick are still the backbone of the story. The splashes of water instantly turn Luca and Alberto into monsters, but are quickly hidden in every way fun.

Childhood holiday memories
After chronicling the Mexican festival of death through Coco (2017) , Pixar’s latest film heads to the outskirts of Italy, combining sea monster fantasy with this original story from the director’s childhood memories. Casarosa presents Luca as his rule-abiding self, and his feisty and exuberant best friend Alberto.

Still carrying an inspiring and unique story typical of Pixar, but Luca’s film feels less biting when compared to Toy’s Story and Wall-E (2008) . Not exploring emotions and existential stories, Casarosa captures smaller story moments to develop the story and bring Luca closer to the audience.

It’s just that Alberto’s character leaves a question mark; who is his real father? And how is it related to Luca? Although there are many critics who want Pixar to make the story of these two sea monsters as a same-sex relationship, but Casarosa himself denies: this film focuses on the friendship of innocent children.

But the charm of this film lies in its visual splendor and Italian seaside scenery that seems more worthy of showing in theaters than streaming services. Including the city of Portorosso as a tribute to Studio Ghibli’s Porco Rosso. Combined with the strains of Dan Rohmer’s tone that brings the vibe of a childhood fairy tale.

Luca’s film presents a fantasy world themed on childhood memories; describe vacation days when visiting family homes away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The visuals are undeniable, complete with a typical Pixar story; unique, fresh and light. But less magnificent than other spectacular Pixar stories.

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