Editor’s note: Deadline’s Read the Script series debuts and celebrates the movie scripts that will be factors in this year’s movie award race.
His name is Lucas. He lives at the bottom of the ocean. If you’re a Disney+ subscriber, you may have already seen it.
Pixar’s latest film takes a different perspective on the ocean from The world of Nemo. Where Nemo anthropomorphized real sea life, Luca creates a world of sea monsters, though they also form a family, just like humans. Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) wants to go exploring, but his mother Daniela (Maya Rudolph) wants to keep him close and safe.
His sea monster companion Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) shows Luca that they can become human when they come out of the water. Thus, Luca spends the summer strolling with Alberto in the seaside town of Portorosso, where they become friends with Giulia (Emma Berman). But, any water returns Luca and Alberto to their true form, so they hide it from their new friend and the citizens of the town.
Director Enrico Casarosa, who shares story credit with Simon Stephensen and co-writer Jesse Andrews, based Portorosso in the towns of the Italian Riviera where he spent his summer growing up. Luca and Alberto indulge in ice cream and participate in a bicycle race to win a new scooter. Andrews and Mike Jones wrote the screenplay together.
The filmmakers loosely set Luca in the 1950s or 1960s, capturing a timeless rather than modern quality. Casarosa said he sees sea monsters as a metaphor for finding out who you are, which he says often happens with friends during the summer. Dan Romer’s score also pays homage to Nino Rota and Nicola Piovani’s scores from Fellini’s films.
Lucas premiered June 18 on Disney+. It was nominated for Critics Choice and Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes as well as eight Annie Award nominations and four Visual Effects Society nominations.
Click below to read the script.