Currently streaming on Disney+ from writer/director Enrico Casarosa, Simon Stephenson, Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones comes the story of an unusual young boy named LUCA.
Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay) is a young man living with father Lorenzo (Jim Gaffigan), mother Daniela (Maya Rudolph) and grandma Paguro (Sandy Martin). Let us be clear, they actually live under the sea! Luca and his family are sea monsters living int the waters off the Italian Riviera.
The young sea monster looks up daily and wonders what is on the surface but has been raised to be afraid of humans. One day, while discovering more unusual objects on the sea floor, Luca meets Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer) who just happens to also be a sea monster. He also shares with Luca a secret that changes his life.
On dry land, Luca and Alberto become amazing friends with a goal, to get on a Vespa and see the world. When his parents discover what their son has been up to, they make arrangements for him to go stay the summer with an uncle and that makes Luca even more determined to find his own two feet.
Deciding they need to win the Portorosso race to buy their own Vespa, they meet Giulia (Emma Berman) who agrees to train the boys and discovers they need a lot of help. Massimo (Marco Barricelli) is the town bully that tries to stand in the way of three friends reaching their dreams. In a matter of seconds, a friendship is tested, and secrets do not stay secrets for long.
It is a whirlwind above and below the sea!
Tremblay as Luca is a young boy who is finally discovering that the world is a much larger place than he could ever have imagined. He is so charming, endearing and full of wonderment. It is characters like Luca that make sitting together as a family and watching a story unfold so enjoyable. Tremblay vocals bring delight from start to finish.
Grazer as Alberto is a character filled with fun and a bit of mischief that Luca finds so enjoyable. Having a friend who wants the same things he does; Alberto is even more determined to expand his travels. Berman as Giulia is a young girl who has been part of the Portorosso race before but sees more of a chance to win with her new friends Luca and Alberto. She also opens up an educational world to Luca that she loves sharing with him.
Rudolph as mom Daniela is not going to let her son become part of the dry land world. Rudolph gives us the worried mother with a sense of humor mixed in. Gaffigan as dad Lorenzo is so funny in the way he is perfectly imperfect as a dad who pays attention in short spurts and is silly.
Barricelli as Massimo is the town bully that will stop anything or anyone from getting in the way of his winning a race or taking away his thunder.
Other cast include Saverio Raimondo as Ercole Visconti, Peter Sohn as Ciccio, Lorenzo Crisci as Guido, Marina Massironi as Signora Marsignliese, Gino La Monica as Tommaso, Giacomo Gianniotti as Giacomo, Elisa Gabrielli as Concetta Aragosta and Mimi Maynard as Pinuccia Aragosta.
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Pixar is responsible for some of the most amazing, animated stories and films from the TOY STORY franchise, FINDING DORY, THE INCREDIBLES, MONSTERS INC., CARS, BRAVE and this year’s newest film SOUL. For more information, please visit www.pixar.com.
Once again, the combination of Disney and Pixar have taken a story that is heartwarming, funny and full of life lessons and given it something even more special – heart. The animation is spectacular and colorful which is a like another character that adds such richness to every frame.
The wonderful Italian songs, the celebration of Italian food and a wonderful sense of the Italian community is so lovely to see. By the end of the film there is an understanding by all once they push past the fear mongering and it is a lesson for us all.
There is an amazing friendship between Luca, Alberto and Guila that is filled with everything we would want for these three. Being brought together once they cemented their friendship – each of them would do anything for the other. Make sure you keep the tissue handy as with all Disney and Pixar films, a tear might happen to find its way out.
In the end – above or below it is all about friendship, understanding and love!