About a month ago, I had the pleasure of attending a press event with many Pixar artists to discuss the upcoming Pixar film, Luca. Throughout the event, one thing that stood out was that although Luca definitely feels like a Pixar film, it felt completely fresh and unique at the same time.
We believe the reason for this is due to the fact that we heard over and over when talking to the team that Director, Enrico Casarosa wanted to find ways to showcase the artist’s touch. The identity of the film comes through in everything from the character’s mouth design to the uniquely crafted water splashes that the effects team created for the film.
All of these things add up to one thing — a beautiful film that is likewise beautifully crafted.
Over the next several weeks, we’re going to dive deep and share details we learned about how the crew made Luca, but for now, we’re going to share five of our favorite facts which were revealed by the team.
1. VOCAL CASTING
The vocal casting for Luca is fantastic and although many in the cast are brilliant, the younger cast featuring Luca, Alberto, and Guilia is nothing short of perfection. In fact, Pixar auditioned 1,200 children for the roles.
The vocal cast includes — Jacob Tremblay as Luca Paguro, Jack Dylan Grazer as Alberto Scorfano, Emma Berman as Giulia Marcovaldo, Saverio Raimondo as town bully Ercole Visconti, Maya Rudolph as Luca’s mom Daniela, Marco Barricelli as Giulia’s dad Massimo, Jim Gaffigan as Luca’s dad Lorenzo, and Sandy Martin as Luca’s grandma.
2. VOCAL RECORDING DURING A PANDEMIC
The pandemic added some additional quirks to the normal recording process as well – Producer Andrea Warren said, “It was an amazing, sometimes bizarre experience. We recorded everyone from their homes—and mostly from the closets in their homes. They were all so delightfully scrappy and willing to make it work during tricky circumstances.”
3. FILM ERA
Luca, like a lot of Pixar films, is supposed to feel timeless, but it was roughly designed after the Italian Riveria in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
It was noted that transformation is at the core of Luca. Character Supervisors, Beth Albright and Sajan Skaria said that not only do the main characters physically transform, but their friendship is transformative as well.
One jaw-dropping challenge to think about was how Luca and Alberto would transform seamlessly from sea creatures to humans when water touched various parts of their bodies? The team found a solution by created two independent rigs for the characters and then created a tool that would allow the animator to shift between the two rigs based on a point that was almost like a slider.
5. A 2D LOOK WITH MULTIPLE LIMBS
You know when a 2D animated character runs how you can see a flurry of limbs at the same time? (Imagine the legs of the Road Runner from Looney Tunes running at full speed.)
The character team used the same trick of two rigs (mentioned above), but instead of moving between the two rigs, it would transform to invisible to fade the limbs out.
This was enabled to produce a 2D animation look in a 3D environment and the key was having the limbs fade rather than look connected to the body.
Which of these facts stood out to you the most, or would you want to know more about? Leave a comment below.
Be sure to watch Luca exclusively on Disney+ on June 18, 2021, and stay tuned as we’ll be sharing many more details regarding the making of the film, the characters, and much more from this wonderful film.