After going sequel crazy in the late 2010s (that’s not necessarily a complaint: Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 are great; Cars 3 is… not), Pixar is back to making original films. Either Onward or Soul is likely to be nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, if not both, while Luca looks like the next sunny success for the animation studio.
Directed by Enrico Casarosa, Luca is a coming-of-age story set in a seaside town in Italy, where one young boy [experiences] an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides,” according to the official plot description. So, it’s Pixar’s Call Me By Your Name? Not quite: “Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface.” Jacob Tremblay voices Luca, while We Are Who We Are star Jack Dylan Grazer is his best friend, Alberto.
“At the heart of it, it’s a story about friendship,” Casarosa told Entertainment Weekly about Luca. “So, I really was inspired thinking back about my best friend. I met him when I was 11. I was very shy and timid. My family sheltered me. I met this kid, who was very free. His family situation was a little bit messy, and he could do whatever he wanted. He was a bit of a troublemaker. So, he opened up my world, got me to get out of my comfort zone. I thought many people have friends like that [who] challenge you and make you find yourself. I thought there’s something so wonderful about how much they become architects of ourselves, how we find our identity.” Also, sea monsters. Don’t forget the sea monsters.
Luca comes out on June 18.