Pixar’s upcoming film, Luca, will be released in June 2022. It has made quite a stir in Italy due to its setting on the lovely coastline of Liguria!
Is Luca truly representative of the Italian Riviera? This is a valid question because animated fantasy films sometimes exaggerate or reinterpret real-life circumstances.
Continue reading to learn the truth without fear: There are no spoilers for the plot of the film! Luca takes place in Portorosso, a fictitious town.
However, the name sounds awfully similar to Monterosso, one of the Cinque Terre’s five villages. And when you look at the stunning scenery with brilliant hues in the film, it’s evident that this stretch of the Italian Riviera was the inspiration!
Is there really a place called Portorosso?
The town of Portorosso may look like a dream, but it’s only a set for the movie, so don’t plan on spending your next vacation there. Though a Portorosso ad may be seen in the window of a travel agency in Pixar’s earlier film, Soul.
Director Enrico Casarosa was inspired by the Italian Riviera towns he visited as a child, and the town bears many resemblances to those he saw on set.
Porco Rosso, Please?
When it comes to animation, many people think that Studio Ghibli is the only one that can compete with Pixar.
Over the years, they’ve given viewers hits like Spirited Away and The Wind Rises, with Porco Posso being one of their most treasured masterpieces. If you think Portorosso and Porco Rosso sound the same, you’re not alone.
There are parallels between the two films. They both, for example, take place within the same historical period and include characters who are transformed, whether into a human/pig hybrid or a sea monster.
The location of Luca’s town could be a tribute to the creators who like the legendary Ghibli endeavor. After all, some of the 1992 animations are set in a variety of Italian sites, albeit in fictionalized forms.
‘Luca’s’ creators visited the Italian Riviera.
Pixar frequently goes on research excursions for their films. Before creating Portorosso, Luca felt compelled to explore the Riviera.
“We had a few different ones,” Warren explained. “One came early on. That was Enrico hosting our production designer and writers, and he was really establishing the groundwork.
The plot itself, as well as the film’s look, were the two main foundations for the story. Later, Enrico and I were meant to go, but we were unable to do so.”
The technical crew returned to Italy for the second time.
Despite Warren’s disappointment that she was unable to go on a second research trip, she did send all of the Luca animators and technicians who were required to conduct research for Portorosso.
“We were able to send over our lighting and camera DPS, as well as our art directors,” Warren explained.
“I frequently talk about how when people are doing research and travel to a place, we appear like really strange tourists because everyone is snapping pictures of the stucco wall corner and they’re like, ‘Look at how the paint is peeling in the corner, and all the different layers.'”
It’s the grey, and the way the river reflects on a wall, and all these bizarre images taken in front of people who are undoubtedly observing them.”