As movies are starting to get the theatrical releases studios have wanted so badly over the last year, others are still turning to digital releases for increased viewership. And while Disney is doing the joint theater and Premiere Access release with many of it’s films – it seems that most of the Pixar releases are getting the short end of the stick and going right to the streaming service. While this does give the movies a great audience to start, this doesn’t mean they get the eyes they normally would at a theater release.
The latest Disney Pixar release Luca is the next movie to go right to Disney+, and it feels like it was made just for that purpose. Luca is being toted as a Disney+ original, but the movie seems like a weaker version of the Pixar films we’ve come to love over the last decades. It actually feels like it’s a bit more claymation, and a bit rougher and something we’d expect from a direct to television release than from one of the greatest animation studios to date.
Luca tells the story of a young sea monster as he rebels against his parents to go to the human world and find where he actually belongs in the world. It has moments that seem to nod to the Little Mermaid as Luca is fascinated with human items he finds on the sea bed and starts a collection. And it seems Luca may be a new trend of the mythical monster worlds that Pixar started with Monster Inc, but also in Onward.
Is Luca one of Pixar’s strongest movies? Not at all. And honestly, can you blame them if they’re going to be tossed to digital release and not enjoy theater releases like the other studios in their family?
But even with that in mind – Luca is a cute movie. It has some moments that will genuinely make you laugh and a bad guy that will make your eyes roll how much of a caricature of every bad guy he is. The town and the under the sea world sets are limited but well rendered and animated. It definitely is a movie that kids will enjoy watching, but probably won’t make the list of one of their top movies.
Is Luca a movie you should watch with your family? Absolutely – just don’t expect the animation style or the story depth as you would expect in Toy Story, Cars or even the Monster Inc films. Overall it is a fun movie just doesn’t seem to hit the marks we expect from Pixar films.
Luca is available on Disney+ on Friday June 18th with subscription.
Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film “Luca” is a coming-of-age story about two friends’ summer of unforgettable fun that’s threatened by their deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world.