I’m a stickler for Disney Pixar films so I honestly don’t know how the release of Luca passed me by, but sure enough, I saw it pop up on Disney+ over the weekend as scheduled.
If you, like me, missed the fact that Pixar’s latest brainchild was available for viewing, get on it ASAP. Luca is the warm hug a lot of us need right now and if that doesn’t convince you, here are six other reasons to give it the time of day.
After 20+ movies you should know what to expect when you sit down with a Pixar film.
They may be marketed as animated children’s movies, but Pixar films consistently reach a far broader audience with heartwarming and relatable stories that are consistently well-crafted.
In Luca, it’s a coming of age story about two friends who are secretly sea monsters and want to explore the human world.
Because it’s Pixar, sea monsters are able to appear human when their skin is dry but, unfortunately, their nearby town is full of sea monster-hating civilians, meaning their true identities remain a carefully guarded secret.
The two friends could not be more different, with Luca being a timid dreamer and Alberto an adventurous troublemaker but their friendship brings out the best in each of them.
Remember, it’s Pixar, so be prepared to laugh and cry.
It has a great cast
One niggling question you’ll have when watching Luca is “where have I heard that voice before?”
Luca has a stacked voiced cast full of well known Hollywood actors and newcomers alike.
Luca himself is voiced by Room star Jacob Tremblay with his best mate Alberto played by It and Shazam!’s Jack Dylan Grazer.
You’ll recognise the voice of Luca’s mother as Bridesmaids star Maya Rudolph and his father as actor and comedian Jim Gaffigan.
Uncle Ugo would also not be the character he is without the voice acting skills of Sacha Baron Cohen.
You’ll fall in love with Italy
The story is set in the fictional Italian town of Portorosso. While not a real place it should look familiar to anyone who’s visited Italy.
Portorosso was inspired by the looks of the coastal towns of Cinque Terre which are made up of bright multicoloured buildings atop cliffs with azure waters.
This environment is replicated to the tee in Luca. Imagine the underwater landscapes of Finding Nemo paired with the Parisian details in Ratatouille and you have the best of both worlds in Luca.
It’s the closest you’ll get to summer in Italy right now.
It has a positive mental health message
One catchphrase you’ll adopt in your life after seeing Luca is, “Silencio, Bruno.”
Bruno is a metaphor used to describe the doubt-filled, nagging voices in the characters’ heads that talk them out of taking risks. Alberto tells Luca to silence his Bruno so that he can step out of his comfort zone and pursue his dreams.
While this doesn’t justify taking all manner of risks in life it is a positive reminder for both children and adults to be brave and not get dragged down by the voices in their heads.
It’s low-key a queer film
Pixar, like most subsidiaries of Disney, is yet to put LGBTQ+ characters at the front of a film. And even though Luca’s director, Enrico Casarosa, has said this film is firmly about friendship and nothing romantic, it’s easy to see why audiences are getting queer undertones.
The film’s trailer immediately drew a comparison to Call Me By Your Name, a gay summer love story set in a similar beachside Italian town. For obvious reasons, that is not what this Disney film is, but it still has some queer-coded messaging.
For starters, you could definitely read the bromance between Alberto and Luca as something more than friendship, that much was obvious from reactions to the trailer.
There’s also the idea of the sea monsters living in disguise and having to “come out” to their fellow human townspeople. This brings up the notion of acceptance, which is an important theme for a range of communities – LGBTQIA+ ones in particular.
Lastly, Luca was released in the middle of Pride month so quite frankly the queer community deserves this one.
Some fans were let down to learn Luca doesn’t actually propagate a queer love story, but really, you can read the film however you want to.
Just saw Luca, & I don’t care what anyone else says, it’s the first gay animated film by Disney/Pixar. Feeling like you have to hide a part of yourself, meeting someone like you 4 the first time, strangers calling you and your “friend” monsters, finding the good ones. I cried. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/cVpcZMadix
— Eric Rosswood (@LGBT_Activist) June 21, 2021
It’s included with Disney+
Finally, when it comes to where you can actually watch Luca, it’s included with a Disney+ subscription.
Unlike some previous first-run Disney titles, like Raya the Last Dragon or Mulan, Luca isn’t part of Disney’s Premier Access tier so there are no additional fees beyond your monthly subscription price.
That means it’s way too easy to settle in front of your TV tonight and put on Luca. You won’t regret it.