A colourful Mediterranean animated adventure from Disney/Pixar that’s as warm and bright as a summer’s day, this is the story of a young sea monster named Luca (Tremblay) who spends his days wondering about the world above the waters where he lives with his family.
He gets the chance to see the human world – and the beautiful Italian coastline – when he makes friends with Alberto (Grazer), who has already explored a little above water (sea monsters transform into humans when they are on dry land, you see, but a splash of water reveals their true aquatic origins). Together, they head for the little town of Portorosso to fulfil their dreams of owning a Vespa and exploring the world.
Of course, they can’t be discovered as they are different (and the locals have heard legends about scary sea monsters), but Luca and Alberto nonetheless befriend a young girl named Giulia (Berman), who dreams of beating the town bully in a race that involves swimming (uh-oh), pasta eating and a steep bicycle race and needs the boys to help her.
A movie about friendship, family and not being afraid to be different, Luca is charming, sweet and simply gorgeous to look at. It may not have the belly laughs or excitement of a Finding Nemo or Toy Story – the Portorosso triathalon is the only fast-paced part and the few jokes come from the briefly seen Uncle Ugo, voiced by Sasha Baron Cohen – but it is nonetheless a delightful and likeable film. And unlike Pixar’s Soul and Inside Out that charmed grown-ups but left the under-11s scratching their heads, this adorable movie is truly aimed at entertaining kids and is a heart-warming, sunshiny treat for them.
Is Luca suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Very little children may be worried that Alberto and Luca may be exposed as sea monsters, but there are no scary moments.
The town bully is silly rather than frightening.
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