Luca’s director on sea monsters, cliques, and gelato vs. ice cream

Let’s face it: We all want to be somewhere other than where we’ve been stuck for the past 14-odd months. That’s part of why the new Pixar movie Luca has the potential to be such an enjoyable watch. Set on the Italian riviera sometime during the middle of the last century, Luca is both a coming of age piece and a reminder that one day, hopefully, we’ll all be able to get out of our houses, towns, and countries and go someplace cute, sunny, and charming—just like in Luca.

Part of Luca’s charm no doubt emanates from its swinging Italo-Pop soundtrack, which is perfect for long afternoon lunches and afternoons under a beach umbrella. According to the movie’s director, Enrico Casarosa, the vibe came from the knowledge that “a wonderful summer movie needed… this wonderful little thread of songs.” Casarosa references movies like Stand By Me as an influence for the film, saying that’s in part why it was set in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and why the soundtrack was so key. As he tells us in the video above:

“When I looked at the Italian hits of that era, there’s so much. I wish we could have fit more in there because there’s this wonderful kind of inspiration coming from the U.S. music. Sometimes it’s covers of songs that are from the U.S., but they are met with with the Italian side of pop.”

Casarosa says Luca’s first song placement really sets the scene for the whole movie, telling us, “We put that first song over our title and then something snapped into place. It’s like, ‘Okay, I’m in the right mood, I’m ready for this and it’s worth it.’” The song, Quartetto Cetra’s “Un Bacio A Mezzanotte,” literally means “A Kiss At Midnight,” according to Casarosa, and is imbued with a vibe that he says “places you in Italy.”

There’s even more from Casarosa and Luca producer Andrea Warren in the clip above. Luca is streaming now on Disney+.

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