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Pixar announces new movie about idyllic friendship and a secret sea monster

Ah, the challenges of youth

two boys jumping off a cliff on the Italian riviera in Pixar’s Luca Image: Pixar/Disney
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

While film studios all over the world are pulling movies from the release schedule, Pixar has decided to add one.

OK, technically, there was previously a Pixar project slated for June 18, 2021, but it was untitled till right now. The new film is called Luca, and will follow the adventures of a young boy of that name in a picturesque town on the Italian Riviera. In one wonderful summer, Luca bonds with a new best friend and shares gelato, pasta, and scooter rides, but their idyllic friendship may be threatened by Luca’s secret: He’s actually a sea monster!

So ... it’s less Call Me By Your Name and more Ponyo, in Italy with sea monsters.

Luca is directed by Enrico Casarosa, who previously directed the Pixar short La Luna, which premiered in theaters ahead of 2012’s Brave.

“This is a deeply personal story for me, not only because it’s set on the Italian Riviera where I grew up, but because at the core of this film is a celebration of friendship,” said Casarosa in a news release. “Childhood friendships often set the course of who we want to become and it is those bonds that are at the heart of our story in ‘Luca.’ So in addition to the beauty and charm of the Italian seaside, our film will feature an unforgettable summer adventure that will fundamentally change Luca.”

Pandemic pending, Luca is set to come out next summer. Previously, Pixar’s Soul was scheduled for this summer, but it has been pushed to November 2020.