THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS FOR LUCA, SO PLEASE PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. ALSO, WATCH THE MOVIE BECAUSE IT IS VERY GOOD. There is a very obvious theme in Luca about the idea of accept people for who they are and what they look like. However, there is a secondary theme that is probably going to take a lot of parents by surprise. It is so common in movies about kids on summer vacation for them to lament the idea of going back to school once the summer is over. That is not the case for Luca. By the middle of the movie, by the time both Alberto and Luca have met Giulia and started a friendship with her, it becomes apparent that Giulia is one of those kids that loves school. Her and Luca bond over their shared excitement of learning and how much they want to learn everything in the world. We got the chance to speak to director Enrico Casarosa about this secondary theme and whether or not it was something that was in the movie from the beginning.
"I feel when we started dealing with curiosity, and a kid who is imaginative and curious about the world, a part of it was the imagination side and seeing that imagination, seeing a visualization of how much he wants to see out there," Cosarosa explained as he also spoke about Luca and his daydreams that he has about the world that he doesn't understand that we see a few times in the movie. "And once we started going on that thread, it really became this idea of like Alberto is a big part of showing him the world at the beginning of the movie. And then when he gets to Giulia and it always felt so interesting, now there's someone who can teach them more because Alberto and this is also, of course, create drama because Alberto only knows so much and sometimes he's obviously completely wrong. And so once we got to Gulia, we realized that, well, there's something about those kinds of people that are like "it's never enough. Here I am. But I want to know the next thing." We wanted to find a way that Luca was inspired by her and really connect. So we thought, well, actually, this is really two kids nerding out. And it was a challenge. And interestingly, you hit the nail on the head because if it's just "let's go to school," no one's going to be excited about that. And so we wanted to find a way to capture this moment of a spark."
"But we also felt it was interesting to show our curiosity, and wanting to know more is actually exciting, right?" Casarosa continued. "It is. When you take the school word out and think really only about, I want to learn about the universe. I guess I've always been fascinated, for example, with astronomy. And so we realized we needed to actually really dramatize this, seize imagination, to really show how this can be exciting. And the two of them connected with something important, but it wasn't immediately working. We had to work hard to make that exciting."
You can check out the rest of our interview with Casarosa and producer Adrea Warren, talking about the production behind the movie and what it was like making a movie during a pandemic.
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.