Pixar is one of the most innovative film studios running in the business today, noted for their stellar animation and incredible storytelling. With Pixar coming off of a big win with the best animated feature winner in 2020’s “Soul” left me in baited breath waiting for the arrival of their next film. “Luca” after many delays and changes the film had finally made the transition to exclusively release on the streaming service Disney Plus similar to its predecessor.
The newly minted Pixar film has a story set up that you may have heard before but what lies beneath is more magnificent then what meets the eye. Set upon the background of Italian Rivera the film offers us a strong look at many ideas from its writing which is pertinent and jovial, to the performances riddled with charm and charisma with a beautiful story to match that celebrates acceptance of ones true identity, love and friendship .
The film pays homage to the late great Italian filmmakers of the new wave names like frederico felini comes to mind with a slight hint of ghibli esque wonder. With the story serving as personal piece for the director Enrico Casarosa whose direction absolutely shines in the film. The characters are a marvel to be around with all of the dynamics involved playing well in relation to one another . from Luca’s shy but compassionate voice work done tremendously by Jacob Tremblay (Room, Good Boys, Predator) who plays the titular character who portrays the heart of the film. While the always energetic and boisterousness of his new found friend Alberto played wonderfully by Jack Dylan Grazer (Stephen Kings It Film Series, Shazam) who adds a sense of spirit with his voice work done here and rounding out the main cast, is Emma Berman as the adventurous and fun Giulia Marcovaldo who contributes the adventure and dramatic aspects of the film in her own right.
This film stands out because of its wonderful subdued nature it intimacy comes from the smaller moments which elevates the more larger bombastic moments of wonder layered throughout . it made me feel whole and happy to follow these characters, hearing their stories and falling in love with how they overcome the obstacles they face. However the film says also lets us celebrate who we are, what we are and to take pride in love , friendship and acceptance to create a wonderful intimate film that none who’ve seen it will soon forget.