Luca: The Newest Fish Out of Water Tale on Disney+

Set in the fictional town of Porotrosso on the Amalfi coast, Luca is the latest Pixar creation
released on Disney+. This movie is beautifully done with an AMAZING score! It has a PG
rating for violence and some rude humor, but it was nothing that my 5-year-old couldn’t handle.

As much as I loved Luca, I can’t help but feel like I have seen this movie before. It feels like a
combination of Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid. The part that I like best about Luca, is that it is loosely based on director Enrico Casarosa’s childhood growing up in Genoa, Italy. He is a self-proclaimed shy kid, who’s best friend (named Alberto in real life) was more of an adventurous, outgoing kid. Casarosa credits Alberto with bringing him out of his shell.

Photo courtesy of Disney+ and Pixar Animation Studios.

Set in the fictional town of Porotrosso on the Amalfi coast, Luca is the latest Pixar creation
released on Disney+. This movie is beautifully done with an AMAZING score! It has a PG
rating for violence and some rude humor, but it was nothing that my 5-year-old couldn’t handle.

As much as I loved Luca, I can’t help but feel like I have seen this movie before. It feels like a
combination of Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid. The part that I like best about Luca, is that it is loosely based on director Enrico Casarosa’s childhood growing up in Genoa, Italy. He is a self-proclaimed shy kid, who’s best friend (named Alberto in real life) was more of an adventurous, outgoing kid. Casarosa credits Alberto with bringing him out of his shell.

Luca is a young goatfish herding seamonster who longs to go to the surface, sound familiar??? His overprotective mother does not want him to go to the surface for fear that he will be found out as a sea monster by the humans of the fishing village. Going about his life, he meets another young sea monster named Alberto, who has been living on the surface as a human. They pal up and decide to head to the village to try and get a Vespa scooter. In the village they meet Julia, a young outcast who lives with her dad and his suspicious cat for the summers and is desperate to win the Portorosso cup, a triathlon that involves: swimming, biking and eating pasta. To win they must beat Ercole, an older bully who torments not only Julia, but the entire town. Hilarity and drama ensues as the boys try to train for the cup, without getting wet and changing back into sea monsters. 

Meanwhile Luca’s parents are in the village splashing all the children with water, to try and find their son. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but being that this is a Pixar movie, I feel like you can see where this is going. Even if you do feel like you know the ending, you should still give it a watch to see how it ends up for our plucky trio of friends.

The messaging of Luca is really great. It covers several bases, as most Pixar films do. The overarching theme being acceptance. Luca’s parents accepting him for who he is, the town
accepting sea monsters as friends and neighbors, and Alberto accepting that you can have
more than one best friend. It also highlights the importance of friendship and how even if a friend lets you down, if you are a true friend you will always be there for them.

As with many Pixar and Disney films Luca is full of Easter eggs. I will just name a few and let you scope out the rest for yourself.

1. The boat going in and out of the harbor throughout the film is named Gelsomina, which
is a rough Italian translation for Jasmine.
2. Luca is Pixar’s 24th feature film, there are 24 goatfish in Luca’s herd.
3. There is a poster for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the village.
4. Pinocchio in Julia’s room makes total sense since it’s an Italian fairytale.
5. While this one isn’t exactly in Luca, there is an ad poster for Portorosso in Soul.
6. The number on the train is 94608, which is the zip code for Pixar headquarters in
California.

Have you seen Luca yet? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

My name is Sarah Niswender and I have WDW in my veins, going to the parks several times per year as early as age 2. Growing up in SoFla I was fortunate enough to have a lifelong Disney education, thanks to my mother (and hardworking father)! I am now passing the love for everything Disney along to my daughter and somewhat reluctant husband. I have participated in several runDisney events and am looking forward to participating as a part of the WDWRadio running team. See you on Main Street USA!

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About Lou Mongello

Lou Mongello is a former attorney who left the practice to pursue his passion, and is now a recognized Disney expert, author, speaker, and host of WDW Radio. Learn more…

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