The Stream: Slight and a little unoriginal for a literal fish-out-of-water tale.
The Big Screen: It looks great, has some nice laughs and hits square in the heart, pretty expected from a Pixar movie.
The Final Bill: A fun, heartfelt journey of discovery and acceptance of others– S2S: Movie Review
Director: Enrico Casarosa
Writers: Enrico Casarosa (story by), Jesse Andrews (story by) | 3 more credits
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman | See full cast & crew
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes
Production Companies: Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures See more
Platform: Disney+, released June 18, 2021
Welcome back, Streamers! A Disney+ release? Sign me up please! Luca, the new Pixar film, premiered on Disney+. It’s a movie about a young sea monster who experiences his first unforgettable summer on land in the Italian Riviera filled with gelato, pasta and endless Vespa and bike rides. We follow Luca as he takes this adventure along with some newly found friends all the while fearing that his aquatic secret would be found out or even worse his parents would catch him. Let’s see if Luca is worth the watch.
Now, you already know that Pixar and Disney are the kings of movie animation. Luca continues in that tradition. We are transported to the Italian Riviera (as if I’ve been there and know, smh). The film does a good job of making the audience feel like they are zooming through the streets with the cast and on vacation. My one ding against the movie is that the parts underwater, while limited, were pretty underwhelming and bordering on boring. The creatures and their transformations were cool and seamless, but it just makes sense why they spent so much time on land because the sea is boring! For me, what comes to mind when I say boring… The Little Mermaid. Sorry, I should phrase that better. Luca gives me the pre-teen male equivalent to The Little Mermaid vibes. From the beginning of the flick, when he starts to find human trinkets on the ocean floor, my eyes began to roll back in my head. Then, he gets on water and becomes human with legs. You couldn’t imagine my boredom at the storyline. They picked it up from there, not by much but they did. Pixar movies are generally good at telling compelling stories but this one just doesn’t seem to be one of them. Maybe it’s just such a basic story that we’ve heard it too much? I think the lack of originality in the plot lessens the execution and beauty of the visual film. The kids are great. The comedic bits are pretty good. I’m looking at you Mom, *Dolphin noise* (you’ll get it when you watch the movie). So, while you’ll get the feels here and there, I feel something was missing from the heart of this movie compared to a UP, Soul, Inside Out, etc.
Overall, Luca is a cute movie and adventure. It feels a bit too much like the boy version of The Little Mermaid without singing but a good story nonetheless. Kids will definitely enjoy this film, but I don’t think this is one of Pixar’s most compelling works. Turn on Disney+ and enjoy a bowl of popcorn and pesto spaghetti with Luca and Alberto.