Luca is the latest Disney Pixar film available on Disney plus. I was originally interested in seeing this film mostly for its early comparisons to Call Me By Your Name before its release. The joke was basically that when people heard the synopsis for the film it sounded a lot like an animated version of the popular LGBTQ film, which obviously would have been a step in a very different direction for Disney. Luca follows the title character who is a boy/sea monster (Jacob Tremblay). He lives under the sea and has never been above the surface until he meets another sea monster, Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer). The two of them become good friends above the surface and Alberto shows Luca his dream bike, a Vespa. They go to a small Italian town and meet Giulia who tells them about a race in town where the winner gets the prize money. The three of them train together and become good friends. The problem is that they have to hide that they are sea monsters even from Giulia because the town has a deep rooted hatred of sea monsters. So if they race, they are risking being caught and killed for a chance to buy a Vespa to travel the world.
The animation is very well done and it’s a pretty cute movie. Definitely good for kids. As I am technically an adult it wasn’t the best movie ever but it was sweet and I don’t regret watching it. I think older Pixar films are just all-around better but I’m super biased because I grew up with those movies when I was the target audience. Those movies were my childhood, and Luca will be some kid’s childhood movie. I think what I usually like about Pixar films is that normally I can find something that appeals to teenagers, something that is for everyone. This I found especially more apparent in last year’s movie Onward, which I felt had that universal messaging and connection more than Luca.
Listening to the voice actors was fun to match the voices to the actors that I have seen in other stuff too. Jack Dylan Grazer is so funny and I loved his work in Shazam. Jacob Trembley, I saw in Good Boys and I think these two are those kinds of child actors who go on to do big things. To be so young and doing work like this is amazing. They are both so talented and fun in real life. Jacob Trembley is set to return to Disney for the live-action remake of the Little Mermaid, so he's not done with under the sea characters just yet.
Overall, it's a good quality film and very enjoyable. It's not as appealing for an older or teenage audience as other Disney Pixar films have been in the past, but it is still a sweet film. I think they did a good job making the film and I’m glad I gave it a watch. It’s not really for me but I can definitely appreciate the animation and quality of the work. Disney is really in a league of its own and this film is just another indication that Disney Pixar is still at the top of animation and producing children’s films.