Happy New Year 2023 to all of you…

Hi,

Another usual special post not related to the usual topics on my blog, this time made the day before the new year begins. To the people who see the blog I created back in March 2012 a very Feliz Ano Novo 2023 (Happy New Year 2023). Really hoping that next year will be better than this year

I couldn’t finish this post without posting the videoclip of this classic 1980 song by ABBA (eventhough the lyrics aren’t as positive):

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)

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Merry Christmas 2022 to all of you…

Hi,

As always, a special post for Christmas Eve. To the people who see my blog I created back in March 2012 a very happy Feliz Natal 2022 (Merry Christmas 2022) and let there be joy and love for all of you and your beloved ones on this special day

Thank you,

LAboy 456 (Rui Craveiro)

Happy New Year 2022 to all of you…

Hi,

Another usual special post not related to the usual topics on my blog, this time made the day before the new year begins. To the people who see the blog I created back in March 2012 a very Feliz Ano Novo 2022 (Happy New Year 2022). Really hoping that next year will be better than this year

I couldn’t finish this post without posting the videoclip of this classic 1980 song by ABBA (eventhough the lyrics aren’t as positive):

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)

Merry Christmas 2021 to all of you…

Hi,

As always, a special post for Christmas Eve. To the people who see my blog I created back in March 2012 a very happy Feliz Natal 2021 (Merry Christmas 2021) and let there be joy and love for all of you and your beloved ones on this special day – especially when the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation is still ongoing

Thank you,

LAboy 456 (Rui Craveiro)

Luca (2021)

Hi,

In times of COVID-19, several movies that were initially scheduled to be released in cinemas had to be either be digitally released on a international scale only or, in some cases, did have a dual cinema + digital release option

The movie that I’ll give my opinion on belongs to the former mentioned release (eventhough the countries that don’t have the platform in question (Disney+) ended up or will end up having a theatre release for it sooner or later): “Luca”, made by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, directed by Enrico Casarosa and produced by Andrea Warren

For starters, you can read more about the movie in here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luca_(2021_film)

As for the opinion regarding the movie… which will be divided into sections (some spoilers ahead, so… be sure to read this only after you watch the movie):

STORY:

Pixar is usually known for their vastly dimensional stories with a lot of punch at times, but “Luca” comes off as being quite different as the story is actually simple – something that maybe would look quite strange for some people while seeing it for the same time

Eventhough not the deepest story you can usually find in a movie, it’s actually effective and endearing at the same time + the main theme of the movie (the friendship between three different kids (two sea monster boys and a human girl) is so well built and developed

A few minor issues I thought that should have been developed or made more clear included Alberto‘s back story (I know Luca is the main character and the focus should primarly go to him, but not much was told about Alberto‘s story until the day before the Portorosso Cup… and even so, I felt like there was much more that could have been done in that sense), Alberto‘s growing relationship with Massimo (Giulia‘s father) (there were some visibile hinting scenes during the second half of the movie, but nothing more than that) and the indefinite timeline of the movie (the director (Enrico Casarosa) himself stated the movie goes between the 1950’s and the 1960’s. After seeing the movie several times, I get the feeling it wanders more on the late 1960’s (Giulia‘s clothes, for example, don’t look much like they come from the 1950’s + during the end credits, you could spot Giulia and Luca watching what we think it’s the Apollo 11 moon landing from 1969 on TV) than the 1950’s (despite some references to it (for example, the movie posters throughout the city featuring several 1950’s movie classics). Then again, I also understand that it might have been an artistic choice so that the movie can be timeless)

Even today (and since the movie’s trailers came out), the people on social media have had their different interpretations on “Luca” (the director had stated the movie itself is only about friendship, although I’ve never seen him denying the people’s thoughts on social media posts either). And I must agree there’s another word one could add to the movie: ambiguity – in a good way

CHARACTERS:

One of the biggest assets of this movie is the small and yet diverse array of characters with different personalities. Some of them have their diverse motives throughout the story which end in personal growth (by the way, kudos to the voice cast for bringing them to life)

Some might not think so, but the main trio – whose names I already pointed out in the previous section and were also known in the story as the Underdogs – might be, for me, one of the best main cast group of main characters in recent years when it comes to animated movies:

  • Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay), the timid and yet curious sea monster boy who has been longing to know what’s above the surface. Maybe the character that had the biggest growth, psychologically-wise – from the shy and frightened personality he had for the first half of the movie to the moment he gets to know more about the human world in Portorosso (giving him the will to do more for his life, like going to school) during most of the second half of the movie (in which he also showed a terrible flaw of his during one of the most tense scenes in the movie)… and then the climax before the movie’s final scene in which he finally musters all his courage to stand up for himself and his friends, as well show who he physicially is in a world where sea monsters would be viewed by humans as evil (and viceversa)
  • Alberto (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer), the confident and yet vulnerable sea monster boy who becomes Luca‘s first best friend. As I stated before, there were some issues that weren’t developed when it comes to this character… but his principal core of growth was, at least, there: up until meeting Luca, he was all alone for most of his life… and when he does finally have someone who he can talk and share things and thoughts with, he also might do that much to not lose that person’s interest in him… going as far as being jealous of Luca from the moment he becomes much closer to Giulia. By the climax of the movie, he finally becomes a really great character after revealing the reasons for his insecurities which will lead him to be more compreensive and understanding to those close to him in the end
  • Giulia (voiced by Emma Berman), the outgoing and yet adventurous human girl who befriends Luca and Alberto. The final key from the main group (of which the story wouldn’t have much of a continuity without), not only she shines on her own due to her strong and intelligent personality, but also shines due to her struggling backstory before meeting the boys in which she faces the strangeness from the people of Portorosso for being different from the rest, as well as the constant bullying from the movie’s villiain Ercole – reasons that motivate her to participate in the Portorosso Cup in order to prove that she’s more than just – going by her own words – “some weird kid who… doesn’t belong”. Her character growth in the story blossomed little by little as she got much closer to the two main characters, in especially with Luca with whom she shared similiar interests in life – even after she found out they were actually sea monsters (although she was actually scared at first when one of the main characters revealed itself as such)

From the secondary characters, I’d say Massimo (voiced by Marco Barricelli) gave the best impression from me – beneath the intimidating aura one could think he’d have, there’s actually a good hearted man who deeply cares for her daughter and her friends. And when it comes to comic relief, can anyone beat Machiavelli, Giulia and Massimo‘s cat? I pretty much doubt it… well, in this movie at least

ANIMATION:

Usually, I’m more a fan of traditional animation or hand-drawn + computer animation… although I’m not against CGI animation in any way, especially if the overall content for a animated movie (and I mean that for every possible animation style (of which I also include stopmotion animation (which I find strikingly good, by the way) gives me the special appeal I’d long for

This movie is one of those cases in which that special appeal exists for me: despite pretty minor errors, the sunny and colourful animation really captures the retro-vibe of the story with a highly detailed precision without being dated and extremely overbearing. In a way, I also got the Studio Ghilbi inspiration (that was pointed by the movie’s staff): it does feel as naturally compelling and smooth as any of the movies from the forementioned animation studio (by the way, have you noticed that the colour pattern of Alberto‘s clothes are pretty much similiar to Conan (from the 1978 anime “Future Boy Conan” which was directed by one of the founders of the studios in question (Hayao Miyazaki)’s clothes?)

I really loved the static traditional animation from the end credits scene, which made me wonder: the movie is visually stunning already. Had it been made the traditional or hand-drawn + computer way, would the movie be as stunning or even better?

MUSIC:

There’s not much of a criticism I’d have to say when it comes to the original music score by Dan Romer: it goes funny when it needs to be, insightful at the right moment and dramatic without going too overboard

The jewel of the crown, though, has to be the songs outside of Dan Romer‘s music score that were picked for the movie – especially the inclusion of the retro twist-pop track “Il gatto e la volpe”, written and sung by Edoardo Bennato for his 1977 album “Burattino senza fili” (used in the first half of the movie) and the italian version of “It’s a lonely town”, sung by Gene McDaniels and released in 1963 (“Città vuota”, sung by Mina and also released back in 1963 – used in the end credits)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Overall, I really loved the movie – maybe the best CGI animated movie, as well as best Pixar movie I’ve seen since “Coco” (2017– and the cosy feeling that is transmitted through it. Totally reccomend it to any movie and animation fan, as well as the general audience

ONE MORE THING:

I’ve been seeing several sources concerning ideas for a sequel, either by the staff or by movie-goers/animation-goers + the fact Disney+ has sent a survey to its subscribers concerning the movie and asked if they would be willing to watch another movie involving the movie’s characters (which I would personally love that to happen)

For me, I would fuse the director (Enrico Casarosa) and one of the actors (Emma Berman)‘s ideas: having more focus on Giulia by having her trying to get their parents back together (regardless of the result), while not overshadowing Luca‘s life in Genoa and his closer bonding with Giulia and her family

I would go even further by having a trilogy of movies concerning “Luca” (just like “Star Wars” had with its first classic trilogy): we already have the first movie (“Luca”), then we could have that sequel titled “Luca II: Giulia” or just “Giulia”, etc… and then we’d go full circle with Alberto‘s life in Portorosso, as well as his growing fondness with Massimo (who’d later be officially adopted by him (eventhouh it kinda feels that way already by the end credits of “Luca”) and Giulia‘s mother) and Luca‘s family and of which I’d title it “Luca III: Alberto” or just “Alberto”, etc…

Last, but not least – one of the movie’s trailers:

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)