‘Luca’ takes deep dive into living life

Rick's Reviews

It’s nice to see that after Pixar’s fixation on death with the films “Onward” and “Soul” has passed and the animation company has returned to the more uplifting approach with “Luca” that made movies like “Toy Story” and “Monsters Inc.” work so well.

“Luca” is a colorful summer romp that examines the importance of family, friendship and a good bowl of pasta. Its message of hope comes at a time when we can appreciate it the most.

Luca is what is being described as a 13-year-old sea monster – but looks more like a sea monkey – who suffers the same anxieties that made the Little Mermaid leave the watery depths. Luca longs to know what life is like above the water.

He gets drawn to dry land by another teen-age sea monster in Alberto who seems to be an expert on the land above the sea. The two bond and eventually put together a plot to get a Vespa so they can see the world.

This leads the pair to several encounters including meeting a spunky Italian girl who gives them a place to stay and enlists them in a local race where they think they can win enough money to buy the Vespa.

This coming-of-age story about two friends who end up having a summer of unforgettable fun unfolds in a little Italian village in the late ‘50s or early ‘60s. It is the kind of setting that creates an automatic feeling of nostalgia. It’s a different enough world where it is easier to believe sea creatures can exist.

But, the heart of the film comes from the very human elements. It is a beautiful examination of that moment in life when we begin to replace the embracing the safety of home with a need to grow and find our own way. It’s a celebration of life that is charming and entertaining.

“Luca” will be available through the streaming service of Disney starting June 18.

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