Skip To Content

    16 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Pixar's Adorable "Luca"

    Iguanas, anyone?

    Pixar's Luca has been making a big splash in the summer moviesphere, with stans of the feel-good flick showing up left and right.

    It's a magical, beautiful world, and imploring minds want to know how the team brought it to life!

    1. The artists who created Giulia wanted her to have a distinct look, so they created her character with a lot of triangle imagery, especially in her hair and pants.

    Giulia on one knee in front of Luca with hands outstretched; her jeans have a triangle-leg and her hair is in a triangle shape

    2. The sea-monster version of Luca has 3,436 scales on his body.

    3. Most of of the movie's dialogue was recorded inside closets during pandemic lockdown.

    4. Director Enrico Casarosa was inspired by films of the legendary Federico Fellini, including 8 1/2 and I Vitelloni.

    Black and white: Two women in stylish outfits standing with arms stretched toward one another, holding hands at a beautiful outdoor dining area with tables, chairs, and fringed umbrellas, still from 8 1/2

    5. The sea monsters were inspired by "medieval depictions of sea monsters that appeared in the Carta Marina — a Renaissance map dating back to 1539 — as well as sea-monster sculptures throughout Italy, seen on fountains and benches, and even mosaicked on the ground."

    Fountain of the sea monsters in Piazza Santissima Annunziata in Florence, Italy

    6. Mystique from X-Men was a reference for the transformation from sea creature to human and back.

    7. The animation team researched how iguanas move underwater for ideas about how the movie monsters would realistically swim.

    8. All the background kid voices in the film are local children in Italy.

    9. There are 221 individual controls for Luca's mouth and 223 for Alberto's, so they can move seamlessly with rounded expressions.

    10. Comedian Jim Gaffigan plays the voice of mild pushover dad Lorenzo Paguro.

    Catch behind-the-scenes video of him and the rest of the cast recording their parts from various places (including "Alberto" actor Jack Dylan Grazer's mom's closet).

    11. The iridescent blue and turquoise colors of the Luca monsters are intended to reflect the hues of the Mediterranean Sea.

    12. Another major inspiration for the film was the classic coming-of-age movie Stand by Me, starring River Phoenix.

    Four boys in pairs of two looking like they're about to fight next to some train tracks, field, and hills with trees in the background

    13. Vespa came on board after the movie was finished being written (to the relief of the creators!).

    14. There was initially another sea-monster character in the story who was a third best friend, but he was shifted to a goony of Ercole's so the focus would be on Luca and Alberto.

    Alberto and Luca standing in the entrance to a cave, with the ocean and skyline behind them

    15. Enrico Casarosa says he created the storyline as an experience of feeling like an outsider, and that (re: LGBTQ+ slant) "it’s a wonderful prism for the audience to come in and bring their own experience of feeling 'other.'"

    "It's a story about, at a certain point, like, 'Here I am. Let the chips fall where they may.' ... Some people will accept, and some people won’t. But it’s more about, 'I’m going to fly my flag and I don’t care, and here’s me.'"

    16. The colors of the movie are super saturated, so it feels like an "immersive and very rich" painting or sketch.

    What are your feels on Pixar's latest? Let us know in the comments!