Fishy story packed to the gills with charm

A scene from the animated movie

Luca is an animated coming-of-age story of two young boys, who happen to be sea monsters, in search of freedom in “the human world” above the ocean on the Italian Riviera. Source: Jesuit Media.

This is the first feature length film for director Enrico Casarosa, who has built the film’s story-line around his own childhood in Genoa, Italy. The sea monsters featured in the film are taken from Italian myths and folklore.

In the film, Luca Paguro (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) is a 12-year-old sea monster who lives in the waters off the Italian coastline. He is told that the world above him is a dangerous place, but he longs for what he thinks it can offer him. His mother, Daniela (Maya Rudolph) is determined to keep her son safe, and warns him about the dangers of life above the ocean waves.

Luca meets Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer), who is just as eager as Luca to explore the world around him, and to discover what he calls “the human stuff” above the water.

The core theme of the film is the close friendship of two boys, growing up with life’s possibilities around them.

In their adventures, Luca and Alberto meet Giulia (Emma Berman). She is an outgoing adventurer and enlists their aid to win a local sports championship.

Characteristic of Pixar’s work, Luca is witty, full of colour and offers contrasting set-design imagery with excellent shading effects, all with a colourful Italian look and feel.

Instead of tackling demanding concepts such as “play” (Toy Story) or “emotion” (Inside Out), the movie examines the meaning of friendship in a simpler, more concrete way.

Review by Peter W. Sheehan, an Associate of Jesuit Media

Luca: Starring Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Maya Rudolph, and Emma Berman. Also, Marco Barricelli, Saverio Raimondo, and Jim Gaffigan. Directed by Enrico Casarosa. Rated PG (Mild themes). 95 min.

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Luca (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics

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