Watch: Why Pixar's 'Luca' Isn't An Animated 'Call Me By Your Name'

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday May 2, 2021
Originally published on April 28, 2021

Two male characters? Check. Italian Rivera? Check. Check. "Unforgettable" summer? Check. Check. Check. If Pixar's upcoming animated film "Luca" sounds like a queer love story, it's because you're thinking of "Call Me By Your Name."

However, as "Luca" director Enrico Casarosa explains, the movie's lead characters Luca and Alberto are indeed straight. But the film has a love story about friendship that all audiences queer and alike can relate.

"I was really keen to talk about a friendship before girlfriends and boyfriends come in to complicate things," Casarosa told Polygon during a press day in April. "This was about their friendship in that pre-puberty world."

As reported by Polygon, the film follows the two "sea-monster boys" during an "unforgettable" summer on the Italian Rivera. Any comparisons to "Call Me By Your Name" are coincidental.

"When Pixar first revealed the plot synopsis of its upcoming movie 'Luca,'" writes Polygon, "many people quickly compared it to 'Call Me By Your Name,' the 2017 gay romance that also took place during an unforgettable summer in Italy. The first trailer, where the two boys run around an idyllic seaside town, cemented that general vibe — though it also revealed a female character, one potentially there to make the boys jealous."

"Luca" is actually inspired by Casarosa's own coming of age summer adventures, friendships, and all the hijinks in between. The real Alberto he says, like the character in the upcoming film, has a "big, bright, larger-than-life" personality that helped them become fast friends.

"The type of friendship that is gonna push you into trouble," says Casarosa. "Push you into change, push you into finding yourself."

Queer love or not, will you be watching? Watch the trailer for "Luca" below.