Luca is just like how all of us were, or might like to have been, as children; daring, courageous, keen to be a grown up and always searching for fun. Oh and Luca’s also a sea monster that lives underwater.
Okay so maybe we’re not all sea monsters (at least I hope so) but Luca’s themes are universal. Hearing about life on land, Luca strikes up a friendship with fellow sea monster Alberto and learns an interesting fact – the stories of the dreaded surface aren’t true. In fact, dried out Luca becomes just like any other boy.
A whole world opens up as Luca and his friend Alberto begin to walk on land, spending a summer chasing the dream of a Vespa and learning more about themselves than they ever thought possible.
Stripped back, Luca’s quite a simple coming of age story but, just as Disney and Pixar often do, it’s executed to near perfection. Brimming with life, humour and joy, Luca bursts out of the screen to bring you into this sunny adventure.
The Italian backdrop works perfectly and that change of culture and visuality is so important, something Disney and Pixar have done so well in the last few years. A break from American Suburbia, Luca’s rich, lively and sucks you into lively adventure, just like it does for young Luca (Jacob Tremblay).
My three-year-old niece liked Luca a lot but it was the thirty-two year old sat next to her that was struggling to see through the tears in Luca’s final moments. A truly heartwarming and emotional tale that will tug at every heartstring possible, Luca will cast a Cheshire smile across your face that might stay there for a few hours, even days.
Luca’s heartfelt lessons are beautifully crisp and assured. Nobody is left out with supporting characters that all get their moment to shine. It’s a wonderful ensemble. Lately, there mightn’t be much to smile about in the world but Luca might just be the antidote you need. A warm, fun, adventure for all the family.
By Jordan Barrett
Available to stream on Disney+