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Luca

Luca is a 2021 American computer-animated coming-of-age fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film was directed by Enrico Casarosa (in his feature directorial debut), produced by Andrea Warren and written by Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones from a story by Casarosa, Andrews, and Simon Stephenson. It stars the voices of Jacob Tremblay and Jack Dylan Grazer, with Emma Berman, Saverio Raimondo, Marco Barricelli, Maya Rudolph, Jim Gaffigan, Peter Sohn, Lorenzo Crisci, Marina Massironi, and Sandy Martin in supporting roles. Set on the Italian Riviera, the film centers on Luca Paguro, a young sea monster boy with the ability to assume human form while on land, who explores the town of Portorosso with his new best friend, Alberto Scorfano, experiencing a life-changing summer adventure.

Luca takes inspiration from Casarosa's childhood in Genoa; several Pixar artists were sent to the Italian Riviera gathering research from Italian culture and environment. The sea monsters, a "metaphor for feeling different", were loosely based on old Italian regional myths and folklore. Like La Luna, the design and animation were inspired by hand-drawn and stop motion works and Hayao Miyazaki's style. Casarosa described the result as a film that "pays homage to Federico Fellini and other classic Italian filmmakers, with a dash of Miyazaki in the mix too".

Luca premiered at the Aquarium of Genoa on June 13, 2021, and was originally set to be theatrically released in the United States on June 18, 2021. However, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the film was released direct-to-streaming on Disney+, along with a simultaneous limited run at the El Capitan Theatre. It was also released in theaters in countries without the streaming service.

Plot[]

In the late 1950s, timid sea monster child Luca Paguro herds goatfish off the coast of the Italian town of Portorosso. His parents forbid him from approaching the surface, fearing that he might be hunted by humans. One day, Luca meets Alberto Scorfano, a fellow sea monster child who lives alone in an abandoned tower on dry land. When Alberto encourages Luca to venture out of the ocean, it is revealed that sea monsters turn into humans as long as they are dry. Luca and Alberto begin hanging out and become friends, and they wish to own a Vespa and travel around the world.

Upon discovering their son's actions, Luca's parents decide to send him to live in the deep with his uncle. In retaliation, Luca runs away with Alberto to hide out in Portorosso. The boys run afoul of Ercole Visconti, the local bully and five-time champion of the Portorosso Cup, a children's triathlon of swimming, pasta-eating, and biking. When Ercole tries to soak Luca in a fountain, Giulia Marcovaldo, a young girl, stops him. In hopes of winning the money needed for a Vespa, the boys team up with Giulia for the triathlon.

Giulia invites them to stay at her house and introduces her fisherman father, Massimo, who holds grudges towards sea monsters. Meanwhile, Luca's parents infiltrate the town to find their son. Giulia and Luca bond over their love of learning, making Alberto jealous. When Luca shows interest in attending school, Alberto intentionally reveals his sea monster form to Giulia to prevent it. Unwilling to give himself up, Luca feigns surprise to be with Giulia, and a betrayed Alberto flees as Ercole's gang show up and try to hunt him. Heartbroken, Alberto trashes everything in his hiding place. Shortly after Giulia finds out that Luca is a sea monster as well, and sends him away for his safety.

Luca attempts to reconcile with Alberto, who is revealed to have been abandoned by his father long ago. He promises to win the Vespa to rebuild their friendship. The triathlon begins with Luca and Giulia competing separately. Luca manages to complete the swimming race and pasta-eating contest without revealing himself, but rain begins during the bike race. Alberto shows up to give him an umbrella, only to be kicked by Ercole to the wet ground and exposed, to everyone's shock. Luca this time helps him, albeit revealing himself as well. They resume biking, with now Ercole trying to harpoon them for money, which is stopped by Giulia smashing her bike against his. Luca and Alberto unintentionally cross the finish line, but turn back to help Giulia. When Ercole and other townsfolk confront them, Massimo stands up for them and insists that they have won. A few of the townsfolk are revealed to be sea monsters as well and Luca is finally reunited with his family. The humans welcome the sea monsters, to the exception of Ercole, whose prejudice turns him into an outcast, along with his henchmen, who were fed up with his abuse, throws him into the fountain.

Luca and Alberto buy a Vespa, but Alberto sells it to get a train ticket for Luca, allowing him to go to school in Genoa with Giulia. Luca's family, Massimo, and Alberto see Luca and Giulia off at the train station, where they all promise to stay in touch. During the credits, Luca meets Giulia's mother, whereas Massimo adopts Alberto.

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