Luca Director Explains Why He Chose This Specific Time Period

Pixar and Disney hosted an early press day for the upcoming coming-of-age film Luca , and before the conference, they let us see about thirty minutes' worth of footage. [Spoiler alert: it looks very promising!] During the Q&A, it was brought up to director Enrico Casarosa that some movie posters spotted in the background of the movie seemed to indicate when exactly it takes place. Most of the footage and images that we've seen haven't really shown a time period for this movie, but Casarosa went on to explain that this movie does take place in the 1950s/1960s era, but it isn't a period sense in the traditional sense.

"So I feel that in this idiosyncratic way, I'm about to say something that doesn't make sense, but when you make something very specific and timely, it can be timeless," he explained. "I was after, first of all, a period that I love. So, part of it is just my love of that golden era of film and cinema in Italy. I love the music in all these coming-of-age stories of summer; music is a huge, huge part of a movie. So, I just love the music of the 50s and 60s in Italy, so we're using a lot of that. And then the design, the old Vespas, the old, little carts-bicycle, I just love the sense that this has an old feel.

Pixar Drops the First Trailer for Their Next Feature Film Luca
Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar's "Luca" is a coming-of-age story about a boy and his newfound best friend experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides. But their fun is threatened by a secret: they are sea monsters from another world. "Luca" is directed by Enrico Casarosa ("La Luna") and produced by Andrea Warren ("Lava," "Cars 3"). © 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

"So, we were inspired by so many of these little details," the Luca director continued. "I feel, like, to me, what makes it interesting– if we put a cell phone there, how is it different? I just think that there's a little bit of a timelessness and a nostalgia to it. Those were the things that we really chased as far as the period. … There are movies I love, of course. We just wanted to share with the crew the love of Italian cinema, and we wanted to make homages — we even hid little signs around town. The beautiful opportunity we had, designing the signs with their beautiful homages to all our favorite filmmakers, writers, and things like that. So, that is a bit of how the movies inspired us. It's a little less specific plot-wise, but more like a reference for the period, and just an amazing era of Italian cinema that ended up actually inspiring a lot of American and American-Italian filmmakers, for so many years."

Pixar is very much known for its Easter Eggs, but it sounds like there could be more for fans of old films this time. So instead of keeping an eye out for the Pizza Planet truck, maybe keep an eye out for posters from 1960s era Italian films. I'm into it.

Summary: Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar's original feature film "Luca" is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water's surface.

Luca, directed by Academy Award® nominee Enrico Casarosa ("La Luna") and produced by Andrea Warren ("Lava," "Cars 3"), stars Jacob Tremblay ("Room," "Wonder") lends his voice to Luca Paguro, a bright and inventive 13-year-old sea monster with endless curiosity—especially when it comes to the mysterious world above the sea, Jack Dylan Grazer ("We Are Who We Are," "Shazam") voices Alberto Scorfano, an independent, free-spirited teenage sea monster with unbridled enthusiasm for the human world, Emma Berman provides the voice of Giulia, an outgoing and charming adventurer who befriends Luca and Alberto, Maya Rudolph ("Bridesmaids," "Saturday Night Live," "Big Mouth") voices Daniela, Luca's mother, Marco Barricelli voices Massimo, Giulia's father, and Jim Gaffigan ("The Pale Tourist," "Troop Zero") voices Lorenzo, Luca's father. It will stream to Disney+ on June 18, 2021.

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Kaitlyn BoothAbout Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at
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