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Luca Blu-ray Review

“Luca” is redeemed by a strong ending.

Luca is a sea creature who spends his days herding goatfish, but he is fascinated by the human world. His parents try to warn him about the dangers of humanity, but he ignores them. He befriends a fellow sea creature named Alberto who acts as his guide to the surface world. As Alberto takes him to dry land, Luca discovers that sea creatures transform into humans when they leave the water. With a whole new world to explore, Luca and Alberto spend their time obsessing over Vespas and exploring the neighboring Italian seaside village Portorsso. Luca and Alberto begin to learn much in their land adventures, but they also run into issues that could threaten their lives.

For the first two-thirds of “Luca,” it all feels a bit too generic for a Pixar film. Not only are there heavy shades of “The Little Mermaid” with the titular sea creature wanting to explore the human world and its objects, but large portions of the movie come across as a very simplistic Italy tourism guide (Gelato! Vespas! Pasta! Fishing!). On top of that, you have a lot of strange elements ala the Goatfish herding. Seriously, what was that all about? 

Thankfully, the last 20 minutes redeems the entirety of “Luca.” I won’t spoil what happens, but it’s a truly heartwarming and moving ending. What the story lacks in originality, it makes up for in its exploration of friendship, tolerance, family, acceptance, and culture. The themes felt very perfect for now. 

Another element that caught my eye here is that this project feels very personal for Enrico Casarosa. The director (who also co-created the story that was penned by Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones) has clearly crafted a nostalgic summer adventure movie. Even though the film is set in 1959 (long before the director was born), he certainly brings an authenticity to the animated feature with the sights and sounds of the sea and the fictional Italy town. Sure, there are a number of cliches as I pointed out, but there also seems to be a lot of imagery that comes from his own life experiences. Those vivid memories and emotions help the film tremendously.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Pixar films were made for high definition. The richness of the colors and the ability to see so many tiny details makes for an enriching viewing experience.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The dialogue and sound effects sound sharp with this 7.1 track.

Extras:
* DVD copy
* Digital copy
* Disney trailers and English, Italian and Japanese trailers for “Luca.”
* 6 storyboarded deleted/alternate deleted scenes with an intro by director Enrico Casarosa
* “Our Italian Inspiration”- Director Enrico Casarosa and others talk about what inspired “Luca” along with Italy locations and scenes that had an impact on the film.
* “Secretly A Sea Monster”- A featurette on Luca’s character arc and his secret identity.
* “Best Friends”- A featurette on the friendship of the characters and its real life inspirations. 

August 3, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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