Luca, a young sea monster who lives with his parents and wonders what lies beyond the water’s surface in the very human realm of “the land monsters,” appears in Pixar’s third feature film about aquatic life. When he arrives, he meets Alberto, a sea monster who has established a home for himself on land. When they are dry, Alberto and Luca drive to the adjacent town of Portorosso, where they fantasise of purchasing a Vespa and travelling the globe together.
“Luca” is Pixar’s first picture directed by someone who was not born in the United States, since Casarosa was born in Genoa, Italy. Casarosa’s feature debut is “Luca,” despite the fact that he directed “La Luna,” a Pixar short that was aired before the film “Brave” in 2012.
While the representations of growing up and making friends may be familiar to many viewers, there are several parts of “Luca” that are likely to go missed by younger viewers. In “Luca,” there are a few things that only grownups notice.
Luca is a literal fish out of water
Many films, television series, books, and tales include characters who travel to a distant place and encounter traditions, languages, and social conventions that they are unfamiliar with. The fish out of water story structure is quite frequent since it allows any audience to swiftly adjust to a new setting by having the main character learn about their new surroundings.
In fact, this plot device is so prevalent that “Luca” isn’t the first Pixar picture to use it. “Cars,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E,” “Monsters University,” and “Coco” are among the Pixar films that all throw their protagonists into unfamiliar realms where they feel like outsiders. But, frame method or not, no Pixar picture has ever taken its storytelling idiom so literally as this one.
Pixar has probably created the ultimate fish out of water tale, both figuratively and physically, with Luca literally emerging from the sea and needing to be taught how to walk on dry ground.
Italian film references abound
To say that “Luca” is a very intimate film is an understatement. It’s no surprise that “Luca,” being the first Italian to helm a Pixar picture, recalls Italian culture and style. Enrico Casarosa, the film’s director, told Slashfilm how much of the production is based on his own experiences. “Let’s make this a genuine love letter to the land,” he added, adding that his objective was to “transport people to Italy and [have] these beautiful experiences.”
As an Italian director, it’s only natural that “Luca” is densely packed with references to great Italian cinema.
A street sign in the backdrop as Alberto and Luca initially question Giulia about the event is one of the minor allusions. The sign says “Vicolo De Sica,” which translates to “De Sica Alley” for viewers. “Shoeshine,” “Umberto D.,” and “Bicycle Thieves” are among the most well-known Italian Neorealist films directed by Vittorio De Sica.
Film posters in the town plaza make more overt allusions. The 1954 Neorealist masterpiece “La Strada,” directed by Federico Fellini, probably the most famous Italian director of all time, looks to be one of the films playing in the local cinema.
Despite the fact that the title was not created by Italian filmmakers, one of the other films promoted in the plaza is directed by an American and starring non-Italian actors: “Roman Holiday,” which was, to be fair, shot fully in Rome.
The message of the film is on the courage of being yourself.
Luca, Alberto, and Giulia go through a lot in the film and develop as a result of their experiences. Giulia discovers that she is part of a team rather than observing life in Portorosso from the outside. Alberto can overcome his anxieties as a result of his father’s abandonment. Luca, on the other hand, exhibits one of the first important examples of personal growth in the film at the Portorosso Cup.
Luca resolves to rush headfirst into the severe weather to save his pal when Alberto is shown to the entire town as a sea monster owing to the falling rain.
Finally, Luca summons the strength to stand in solidarity with his buddy and be himself, even if it means foregoing goals and dreams that may have been realised through integration into human society. His grandma says to his parents when they express concern about him being in the human world,
The film emphasizes this lesson by displaying Luca’s true colours by having his family support his desire to venture out into the world.
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