Disney & Pixar’s Luca: The Story Behind The Story
On June 18th, audience will be enchanted by the newest Pixar film, Luca. The new movie about two best friends who turn out to be sea monsters will no doubt become a favorite with fans of the studio.
But what they don’t know is the story behind the story.
The Beginning Friendship
After directing the Oscar nominated short film, La Luna, Pixar artist Enrico Casarosa, decided to pitch a new project to studio. For the basic story, he looked back on his past for the idea.
It all starts with Enrico Casarosa and his childhood. When he was a kid, he had a best friend named Alberto. While Enrico was a shy kid, Alberto was more adventurous and outgoing. And as in the film, Enrico’s parents were there for him a bit too much while Alberto’s weren’t.
But what they had in common, as the characters in the film, was that they felt they were outcasts.
When Enrico first envisioned the project, he not only would be inspired by his own life, but from other sources. That would include Italian cinema, in particular Federico Fellini. But also a hint of Japanese animated storytelling.
The idea of having the characters of Luca and Alberto be sea monsters in disguise came from the creative teams research into Italian folklore. And it would a perfect metaphor for characters who are outcasts.
As with all animated films, the voices are one of the keys to bringing the characters to life. And this film is no exception.
What the voice of Jacob Tremblay brought to his part as Luca was a real sense of innocence and fragile quality to the character. But Jack Dylan Grazer, who voices Alberto, brought the opposite to that. What he created would be a confident and care free quality that match the character.
As is the challenge of creating an animated world, the art style of Pixar’s Luca brings the audience to another world.
But the first thing to do is a research trip as they have done on films such as Ratatouille. In this case, they went to Italy. But the one spot that spoke to them was Enrico’s childhood town, Cinque Tree because of the colors and buildings.
Early on, the creative team wanted a different look that would be different from past Pixar films. For inspiration for the art direction, the Pixar artist looked at the art of stop motion, in particular the work of Aardman animation and other stop motion films such as Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs.
But they also wanted the art direction to reflect the silly playful sense of being a kid.
While Pixar’s Luca won’t be theatrically released as planned, the film will still accomplish what the Pixar team believe the film could do.
With the coronavirus pandemic still going on, the vision of Enrico Casarosa was that the film would help audiences forget about the pandemic and enjoy the story. And that it would remind adults of the carefree fun summers spent with their best friends and the their adventures.
And next month, audiences around the world will be in for a real treat that will be what we all need during this troubling time.