Disney & Pixar exclusively started streaming their latest film, “Luca,” which depicts the “best summer” in the beautiful Italian port town of Portorosso, through Disney’s subscription-based official video streaming service “Disney+” from June 18, 2021.

Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” a film set in the ocean, surprised the world with its realistic depiction of water. However, according to director Enrico Casarosa, they did not pursue the “reality of water” on purpose in this film set in the sea of northern Italy.

Director Casarosa, who excels in poetic and fantastic expressions, has brought a “fantasy atmosphere” to this story in a way that is the complete opposite of what Pixar has done in the past, and has depicted the “miracle of a summer” that the main character Luca is involved in.

■It is difficult to not depict realistic water!?
The story of “Luca” is about a young sea monster boy named Luca and his best friend Alberto, who live in the “sea world”, break the rules of the sea to go on an adventure in the “human world” and create a “miracle of a summer.” The story takes place in the port town of Portorosso in northern Italy, and director Casarosa’s hometown of Genoa, Italy, has been incorporated directly into the film.

Pixar’s most famous films set in the sea are “Finding Nemo,” which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film for its realistic reproduction of the sparkle and depth of the water, and “Finding Dory,” which showed further evolution from that.

However, in this film, they did not use this realistic representation of the ocean, and did not seek complete reality on purpose. John Reisch, a member of the effects team, said, “We’re trying to bring more of a fantasy atmosphere to the film.”

According to Reisch, it was difficult for the effects team, which had pursued a realistic portrayal of water in films, such as “Finding Dory,” to not portray water in a realistic way.
“It was hard to do something different from what we knew before,” he said. “Being in charge of effects, we’re used to creating realistic details. In a way, we felt the same as Luca, because we were doing something completely different. What was right in the past for movies can be wrong in this movie,” he commented.

For Pixar, which has always incorporated the latest technology to create cutting-edge images, the representation of water in this film was a big challenge.

■Why did they decide “to not depict realistic water”?
So why did they decide “to not depict real water”? According to director Casarosa, “I wanted to make the images rich, but I also wanted it to be well designed and beautiful.”

“I wanted to bring out the nuances of joy and excitement in the details,” said director Casarosa, referring to the expression of water in the film, “because this is a story about children experiencing something new for the first time. Both water and waves support emotions. So we tried to control the water more, to convey the most emotion, and to make it feel a little less realistic.”

The “deliberate” expression of water plays an important role in the story of the life-changing friendship between the main character, Luca, and his best friend, Alberto, which led to his own transformation.

We hope to see the “miracle of a summer” that takes place between Luca and Alberto in the “human world,” where they hide their true identities as sea monsters living in the “sea world,” and also paying attention to the expression of water.

Disney & Pixar’s latest film “Luca” has been available exclusively on “Disney+” from June 18, 2021.

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