Over the years, Pixar Animation has taken us to all sorts of beautiful places through its 3-D animation style, whether that be inside our heads with Inside Out, into the afterlife of Soul or through the Great Barrier Reef in Finding Nemo. And for Pixar’s latest Luca, audiences will be transported to a beautiful Italian coastal town called Portorosso. The setting is based on the real atmosphere in Italy’s beautiful riviera and the Pixar filmmakers did some awesome research on location in Europe to bring it to life.
Ahead of Luca, which is coming exclusively to Disney+ this month, you can get ready to experience the sweet summer storyline with an exclusive featurette of the making of the film above. In the clip from Pixar, the filmmakers and cast focus on how the breathtaking setting was animated and transformed into the backdrop of the tale of two sea monster friends who decide to explore the human world.
Portorosso itself is a fictional town off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, but it is very much rooted in the real appeal of the Italian Riviera. And thus, the filmmakers and animators of the project went on a trip to Italy to get inspired by the region it was influenced by. It also helps that the film’s director Enrico Casarosa was born in Genoa, Italy and spent his own summers in the region as a kid and teenager.
Casarosa pitched the idea of Luca to Pixar after spearheading the memorable Pixar short La Luna. Luca is his first time directing a Pixar movie and he brings his own flavor to it, including his love for Hayao Miyazaki movies like Spirited Away or Kiki’s Delivery Service. When CinemaBlend spoke to the director about his inspirations for the film, here’s what he told us:
I knew I wanted something in the setting of the Italian Riviera, I just love that place and I think there’s something really unique about my summers there. And then it was really about finding the right story for it. The other thing that I’ve always loved is about changelings, someone who can appear a certain way but then is really behind a facade. I love stories of foxes in Japanese folklore that can look human, but their true form is foxes. So those kinds of stories always fascinated me. And then also as a kid, in these little towns on the riviera, my memory of it was always wondering and imagining if there is more to these people around – is there more to the old man by the sea?
Luca comes from a place of personal nostalgia for its filmmaker as it takes its audience on a fun adventure through the eyes of sea monsters who have never experienced the world beyond the sea before. As the clip shows, Pixar really wanted to capture the feeling of coastal Italy, along with telling a touching story about friendship.
The movie stars Room’s Jacob Tremblay as Luca andShazam’s Jack Dylan Grazer as Alberto, the movie’s best friends. Also among the voice cast is Maya Rudolph, Jim Gaffigan and newcomer Emma Berman as Giulia. Luca will be available to stream on Disney+ on June 18.