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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Release Date: June 18th, 2021 Movie Release Year: 2021

Luca - Theatrical Review

Overview -

It's only been six months since Pixar released their awe-inspiring, jazz-infused film about death and the afterlife with Soul, but that hasn't stopped the media giant from churning out another fantastic film. Luca is a grand exploration and celebration of friendship and what it means to stick by those you love. It's sweet, thrilling, heart-warming, and one of the most visually stunning Pixar films to date that is set in the mid-'50s Italian Riveria. With an impressive voice cast, a top-notch script, endearing characters, phenomenal score, and a marvel of a story everyone can relate to, Luca reminds everyone that friendships are the key to a happy life. 

Catch Luca on Disney+ or head back to the theater and order your tickets on Fandango 


Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
June 18th, 2021

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Inspired by director Enrico Casarosa's (La Luna, creative team of Pixar since 2005) childhood, Luca centers on an underwater species undiscovered by humans. They are underwater sea creatures that look like happy mermaids and mermen tending to fish and looking after one another. Other than swimming fast, their secret ability is that once they emerge from the water, their sea creature skin transforms into human skin where they resemble the physical form of a human being. Once back in the water, their sea creature traits re-appear. Luca (Jacob Tremblay of Wonder and Good Boys), a 13-year-old sea creature who yearns for adventure and is enamored with life above the surface.

He is constantly scolded by his parents (Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan) never to swim to the surface and of course, never walk on land in fear that humans will kill and destroy their species on sight. Having really no friends to play with, the shy and timid Luca crosses paths with Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer of IT and Shazam), a teenage sea creature who lives on his own rules, is a daredevil, and enjoys getting into trouble. It's not long before the two become friends and Aberto reveals the magic of transforming into a human on land to Luca. This sets Luca on a path of self-discovery, exploration of a new culture, food, and people, and more importantly - a motorized scooter where he and his new best friend Alberto can tour the country and see the new lands as best friends. But in order to purchase the motor-scooter, they need to earn money, which is where they meet Giulia, an Italian girl who has entered the annual iron-man bicycle race in hopes of winning money and glory. The three new friends team up, start training together and begin to learn what true friendship means.

As Luca starts out underwater, it seems like the usual business of Pixar with the standard setup and regular underwater water visuals. But just like how a friendship blossoms into something bigger and better - once on land, Luca becomes a sensation, revealing new elements of friendship and loyalty that haven't been discussed in previous Pixar movies. When Luca first meets his new daredevil friend Alberto and trusting him with his life as they jump off cliffs and build makeshift scooters is an amazing sequence. There's another layer as the film progresses that is also a timely and poignant one where different backgrounds mix for the first time and take that first step to learn about one's culture and origins. Pixar handles it beautifully and elegantly as the three new amigos try new food and teach each other alternate ways of living their best life. Pixar really knocked it out of the park by bringing that sense of nostalgia back to childhood where one can remember when and where they met their early best friends and how exciting that time was. It's all displayed throughout Luca, even the bad times where disagreements occur. 


Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Final Thoughts

Visually speaking, Luca is remarkable. It's difficult to tell where the photo-realistic backgrounds begin and the iconic Pixar CGI enhancements end with the Italian buildings, beautiful beaches, water, and cobblestone streets. It's simply stunning in every frame once out of the ocean. The script is emotional, funny, and tons of fun from the Me, Earl, And the Dying Girl author Jesse Andrews and Studio Ghibli writer Mike Jones. This is a very personal story but also feels universal in that anyone can relate to finding their first best friend and never wanting to leave their side. Additionally, the score by Dan Romer is magnificent. The music maestro behind Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Wendy really elevates everything happening on-screen with an Italian flair that oozes something triumphant and inspiring. Luca is one of the best coming-of-age films Pixar has done and is such a delight. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!  

Catch Luca on Disney+ or head back to the theater and order your tickets on Fandango