Disney & Pixar definitely hit it out of the park with their latest animated feature, Luca. A story about a sea monster named Luca Paguro (voice by Jacob Tremblay) and his journey in the small fictitious town of Portorosso (in the province of Liguria) on the Italian Riviera. Luca makes friends with another sea monster, Alberto Scorfano (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer), who’s been living his best life as a human on land. The two become inseparable as they befriend a real human, Giulia (voice by Emma Berman), along their travels as the two are determined to own their very own Vespa, an icon in Italian transportation.
The movie is filled with beautiful colors and wonderful animation accompanied by a very allegro soundtrack to keep things upbeat and happy. Oddly enough, one of the featured songs is an Italian song from 1977 that brought me back to my childhood. “Il Gatto e la Volpe” by Edoardo Bennato (translated “The Cat and the Fox”); a song that was played countless times growing up that I’ll never forget to this day. One of those songs that even if you don’t understand the words, you can’t help but tap your feet or bop your head to the beat! Don’t believe me? Go ahead, click play below and tell me you can sit still – play it twice if you’re stubbornly trying to prove a point the first time, I dare ya!
The song makes reference to the characters of the Cat and the Fox from the story of Pinocchio and is from their perspective as they ask the listener to sign with them so that they can become stars. Disney & Pixar of course made sure to pay homage to the symbol by having “Pinocchio” be one of the books Giulia owns in the movie; which also features a photo of the Cat and the Fox.
The movie itself pretty much follows the storyline of the everyday life of a child who wants to venture out into the unknown to explore that which their parents warn them about. Luca wishes to see what life is like on land and his parents – mainly his mother Daniela Paguro (voiced by Maya Rudolph), warns about never going anywhere near the surface. However, like most kids, when a parent warns against going somewhere or doing something – the curiosity grows further to know the big question – why not?
Luca and Alberto avoid being discovered several times throughout the movie with many close calls as any contact with water immediately begins to transform them to their true sea monster colors and features.. although Giulia’s cat, Machiavelli, definitely spots something fishy throughout.
The film definitely gives an authentic feel of what life is really like in small-town Italy and allows the viewer to immerse themselves into the atmosphere giving a much-needed sense of freedom and liberty during such difficult times. If you haven’t watched it, trust me when I tell you it’s definitely worth a watch and if you’ve got kids – they’ll love it too! The movie is currently available to Disney+ subscribers!