Luca – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Luca – Charms of an Italian Summer

Life is a string built upon lasting moments.  Within the twist are memories, there is a define of awe and wonder.  No matter the experiences, it is the simple thoughts that make everything worth it.  In this review, I look at the latest from Disney/Pixar.  Centered on memories of summer, this is a tale that places a premium on life’s moments.  Even within the familiar, Luca is a tale that brings warmth in the simple tale of friendship.

In a summer unlike no other, a young boy from the sea ventures on land for the first time.  When worlds collide, Luca will learn the importance of living for the moment.  The filmmakers went out of their way to create a visual journey built upon coming-of-age themes.  In the beginning, you are introduced to the young boy of the sea, Luca (Jacob Trembley – voice).  Through the first half, you are quickly introduced to his family, underwater life and certain adolescent type of conflicts.  After scenes of conversation exposition and animated/world-building sequences, he meets Antonio (Jack Dylan Grazer – voice).  Luca learns that he is just like him but is living on the surface.  Through their initial interactions, you get scenes of comical hijinks and childhood banter.  These sequences bring upon the folly of inexperience, creating that detail of a budding friendship.  The awe of the unknown also leads into that ideal ‘life experience’ trope, providing a path of characterization for Luca and Antonio. That potential becomes a focal point of the journey, creating a pathway away from the simplistic nature of the film’s foundation.  What you have is the aesthetics of the fantastical encapsulating within a slice of life motifs.  By veering away from traditional storytelling, it elevates their experiences by placing a mirror against humanistic overtures.  This creates genuine detail through the rawness of unforgettable memories.  As their connection continues to build, their personal conflicts start to create fiction in the friendship.  As the idea of freedom breeds a hope of exploration, it also leads to some endearing situations within the Italian Rivera. 

As we move into the second half, we follow Luca and Antonio as they venture to a portside town.  Seeking out a specific object (MacGuffin), this becomes the catalyst to build upon their unorthodox adventure.  As they look to gain this object, the moments continue to move through scenes of folly and innocence, but with the locals.  Even if the ancillary characters are nothing more than typical animated archetypes, the whimsical nature of their interactions creates a wholesome aesthetics.  Getting closer to the ultimate prize, their personal conflicts rise to bring a light upon their own truths.  Faced with a difficult choice, it becomes a matter of simple revelations that brings their summer into perspective.  This leads into a finale that brings everything full circle within a climax that is typical but fulfilling.  Luca is a simple story that brings a window into those unforgettable moments.  If you are a fan of animated films, Pixar or coming-of-age tales, this is one for you.  It is available on Disney Plus, but it would be a fun time on the big screen.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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