Director Enrico Casarosa and producer Andrea Warren shared the scoop in a fun Q&A to further discuss their upcoming Disney Pixar animated film “Luca.” I have the scoop on the latest “Luca” information, but make sure to check out our previous “Luca” coverage.
In this Q&A, Casarosa and Warren discussed Vespas, sea monsters, what parts of creating “Luca” kept them up at night, and more!
Casarosa talks Vespas
As seen in the film’s trailer, Vespas are a prominent vehicle in “Luca.” Vespas are an Italian brand of scooter. “Italy is very much a culture of scooters,” says Casarosa.
Casarosa’s inclusion of Vespas in “Luca” is inspired by the scooter he had growing up. Casarosa would often ride scooters with his best friends on the Riviera during the summer.
“I grew up with a little Piaggio Si, which means ‘yes.’ That’s when I was 14. It’s something between a Vespa and a bicycle. If anyone knows that, it would be probably more Italians,” says Casarosa.
According to Casarosa, the Vespa is also a symbol of freedom. “The idea that we can ride into the sunset and live on a Vespa, it’s perfectly great. And so, I always loved that side of it, that it’s a bit silly,” says Casarosa.
Designing the Sea Monsters
‘It’s just not my sensibility, to be honest, to go to something truly, truly scary. Or draw something slimy,” says Casarosa about the sea monster designs in “Luca.” Instead of focusing on making a menacing creature, Casarosa wanted the sea monster designs determined by the behavior and quirks of the characters.
“I was thinking a little more about their characteristics,” says Casarosa. “I love the idea of that. For example, Luca is all eyes because he’s curious.”
“If they get to know each other more and appreciate each other for what they are and what they can learn from each other, they’ll discover they aren’t monsters. So, I think that was also part of them not looking like monsters is that, ultimately, we didn’t want that to be true of either side,” explains Casarosa.
Sleepless Nights caused by “Luca”
Working on a feature film is strenuous work, “Luca” being no exception. For Warren, what stressed her out the most was getting the film’s story right.
“I would say that that was the thing that kept me up sometimes, really trying to get the nuance of it right, and to really capture the spirit of Luca, his character, and his journey that we wanted,” reveals Warren.
Getting the story right also kept Casarosa up at night. “I come from storyboarding, I’m from story. But even with that expertise, it’s still the hardest. They’re hard puzzles, and it takes a long time to put them together,” explains Casarosa.
Casarosa jumps from shorts to feature films
Previously directing the “La Luna” short film for Pixar back in 2011, “Luca” marks Casarosa’s feature-length directorial debut. Similar to “Luca,” “La Luna” follows a young boy in an Italian setting. “To be completely honest, ‘La Luna’ was something that came together relatively easily. The production was rather without tribulations,” reveals Casarosa.
“Luca” proved to be a more difficult challenge to make. Since Casarosa primarily did all of the work on “La Luna,” he had to get used to working with a writer and large production team for “Luca.”
Casarosa also discussed the burden and expectations of creating a feature film. “They need to do a lot more. They need to entertain. They need to be funny. They need to engage everybody. So, they’re a different puzzle,” says Casarosa.
However, Casarosa cited some upsides to working on a large-scale film like “Luca.” “As difficult as it is, it’s fulfilling because you have a bigger team, and you get to really work tightly with people. So, I loved the experience of it. It’s made me grow so much,” says Casarosa.
How “Luca” will inspire a post-pandemic world
“Luca” embodies themes of friendship and embracing life to the fullest. As the world continues to navigate a pandemic, Casarosa and Warren hope that “Luca” will positively impact people during these rough times.
Warren hopes that the film will immerse viewers in a new and enriching setting beyond their living room. “We hope that it feels like being transported to this beautiful place that you would love to visit for real, but that you can visit through ‘Luca,’” says Warren.
Casarosa hopes that the film will encourage viewers to put themselves out there more, similar to how Luca himself does in the film.
“I feel like ‘Luca,’ as a film, celebrates so many of those beautiful, meaningful things in our lives, that we all want back, which is connection, family, friends, eating together. I think those are the beautiful things that we miss, and that are really a part of what this film is about,” says Casarosa.
“Luca” premieres on June 18th, 2021, on Disney+.