Luka Review: Pixar’s new movie is a modest glow

Pixar’s latest movie is a fantasy of a sea monster coming ashore, rooted in real childhood memories. Director Enrico Casarosa (previously a short story of Pixar) Larna)base Luka In his own childhood summer, the result is a film that not only brings a fantastic element, but also evokes certain emotions associated with the coming-of-age story.

Luka It doesn’t explore the big existential sentiment of the Pixar movie that made the company an industry leader, but it captures the fleeting summer days of Halcyon in a sweet and unobtrusive way. Kasarosa overturns the typical Pixar formula not only in the visual styling of the film, but also in the way it weaves emotions using small story moments.

[Ed. note: This review contains slight spoilers for Luca.]

Image: Pixar

Luka Chase two young sea monsters. The famous Luka (Jacob Tranbray) is curious but timid. His fast-growing interest in the human world was crushed by overprotective parents. Meanwhile, the fearless Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) lives in the land, encouraging Luke to be more daring. They fled to the human town, dreaming of buying a Vespa and seeing the world. Opportunity to earn enough money to buy a valuable moped, the two are triathlons who eat pasta instead of running legs with fishmonger’s daughter Julia (Emmaberman). Participate in the cup.

To Luka, Magic is in the details that flesh out the human world. The underwater environment is certainly gorgeous, but the seaside town of Porto Rosso is really shining. Through the eyes of Luke and Albert, it makes sense that the human setting should be very lovingly enhanced. The laundry hanging between the streets, the bumpy cobblestones, the posters on the walls, and all the details create a gorgeous real-world rendition. It’s not realistic, but the city is a little warmer, a little brighter, a little golden, and it’s like a rosy memory. Stylization boosts this blissful summer shared by three friends.

Each character has a very unique design that is more cartoonish than a regular Pixar fare. With exaggerated expressions and movements, all characters (not just children) have a very cautious physicality. They have thoughts that extend to voice actors, and there is a clear difference between Trenbray, who is more hesitant as Luka, who slowly gains confidence, and Glazer, who is reckless as Alberto, who comes into contact with his more vulnerable side. There is. But especially memorable is Julia’s father (and a cat with a similar facial pattern), a large stoic man with an impressive mustache. He isn’t particularly close, but eventually opens his heart to these two incompatible children.

LukaThe central storyline is very simple: three kids compete in a race, and Luka and Albert hide their identities. But it only allows the relationship between the characters to be centered. What started out as a simple friendship between Luke and Alberto grows into something more complex as Julia enters the photo. It’s not a romantic headache. instead of, Luka While acknowledging how difficult it is to accept it, we play with the idea that everyone can have different emotionally satisfying relationships with different people.

Julia, Luka, Alberto eating pasta

Image: Pixar

Pixar is known for his emotional films, and at first glance, Luka It looks like an outlier.It doesn’t work like soul Or Inside out, Each build a great emotional catharsis. Instead, its overwhelming Pixar sentiment is of a different caliber and sinks after the credit is rolled back. The emotional arc of the film is not defined by one or two big moments. Instead, the best bits are actually scattered during the more typical climatic moments. From Luka and Alberto, who try gelato for the first time, to Luka and Julia, who join with a telescope, relatively ordinary interactions are interwoven to create an exciting growth story.

LukaThe story is simple, but it works very beautifully. Just as Kasarosa pushed the boundaries of Pixar’s in-house style, he also played with varying degrees of effectiveness in the storytelling style that the studio had done many times. Luka It’s not trying to make people cry, as some Pixar movies now feel obligatory, but it still sounds like a bittersweet experience. Instead of Tearjerker, it’s a nostalgic memory, a soft sigh after the memory of the passing.

Luka Available to all users on Disney Plus on June 18th.

Disney + Luka

Price at the time of publication.

The latest Pixar originals are streamed for free with a Disney + monthly subscription