Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.
Well in Luca, the latest film from those fine folks at Pixar, he actually is a fish. Well, an aquatic sea monster who turns into a human when dry. Essentially a fish but also completely not.
We could get into the nitty gritty of what the character Luca is but that’s boring. What we should be doing is getting into the nitty gritty of what the film Luca is and that, my friends, is something fantastic.
Luca is by far the most Ghibli-esque Pixar film the studio has ever released. Studio Ghibli literally could have made this film had director Enrico Casarosa pitched it to the Japanese animation studio. Scenery like Porco Rosso, characters like Ponyo with laid-back low stakes like Kiki’s Delivery Service or My Neighbour Totoro.
But unlike Studio Ghibli, who has yet to bring a truly compelling CGI feature to life, Pixar has truly succeeded with Luca. It looks amazing and has this storybook quality to the film that reminded me a lot of the recent Nintendo Switch remake of Link’s Awakening.
The movie captures nostalgia but not in a “best of days” way but in a timeless look at an Italian past. It’s definitely not set today but it doesn’t really care about showboating when it’s set. The period is the period and the lack of modern technology helps to keep the story from having to break too much logic.
The thing that I didn’t like about this film is the thing I didn’t like about Soul or the Netflix released The Mitchells vs The Machines: no theatrical release. The streamers not only have film’s I want to see but they also already have my money. I have subscriptions and that’s fine but these amazing film’s they have need to be seen at the cinema. It’s baffling to me that they keep them on these platforms.
Doesn’t Disney want even more of my money? I would happily have paid to see this on the big screen. Sometime in the future I’m sure it will be screened at a cinema and I’m 100% going. Watching this at home lacked that all-encompassing captivation that the cinema provides. Watching at home is a lesser experience and I’d love to have the option between the two.
Other than that Luca is a must watch for me. If anything I’ve said is remotely appealing to you then jump on Disney+ and see this thing. It’s a delightful 95mins and a great way to spend an afternoon. We’re in winter where I am but for that hour and a half I was back in summer and loving every minute.
In the best way Luca is by far the most Ghibli-esque Pixar film the studio has ever released: ★★★★★