Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) is the adolescent son of a family of sea-people and knows that the most dangerous thing in the world is to leave the water. One day Luca comes across another fish-boy, Alberto (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer), who’s collecting treasures dropped from a boat. Along with Alberto, Luca finds himself up on land, where he discovers that he can transform into a human when completely dry.
As Luca and Alberto’s friendship flourishes, they become obsessed with building a Vespa scooter to escape Luca’s nagging parents and see the world. As Luca spends more time out of the water, his mother becomes suspicious and catches him in the act. She threatens to send him to the depths of the ocean with his anglerfish Uncle, Ugo (voiced by Sacha Baron-Cohen). Terrified of this deep water fate, Luca takes Alberto and escapes to the picturesque Italian seaside town, Porto Rosso.
In Porto Rosso, Luca and Alberto meet self-described underdog, Giulia (voiced by Emma Berman), who gets them involved in the town’s annual triathlon – swimming, cycling and eating pasta. Giulia’s goal is to beat the previous winner, town bully and Vespa owner, Ercole (voiced by Saverio Raimondo). But the boys set their sights on the prize money as a way of getting their scooter.
As the three children train for the race, the boys must keep their secret safe from the sea monster-hunting townsfolk and, whatever they do, not get wet!
Family separation; abandonment of a child; bullying
Luca has some violence. For example:
- A young boy slaps his friend.
- Luca’s mother kicks a ball into a child’s face – this is presented as funny.
- Luca accidentally elbows Alberto in the face.
- Luca and Alberto are threatened with harpoons several times.
- Ercole punches Alberto in the stomach.
There are no sexual references in Luca.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no use of substances in Luca.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in Luca.
There’s a Vespa scooter in Luca.
Luca has some mild coarse language, including ‘jerk’, ‘idioti’, ‘stupido’ and ‘shut up’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Luca is a comic coming-of-age story that combines crisp animation and the beautiful Italian seaside to create a sweet movie.
Luca is likely to entertain families with children over 5 years. But it’s best suited to children aged 8 years and over, and we recommend parental guidance up to 10 years. This is because of some frightening visual imagery, slapstick violence and themes of child abandonment.
The main message from this movie is that you can find a sense of belonging only when you accept yourself.
Values in Luca that you could reinforce with your children include:
- accepting others despite their differences
- supporting friends in their time of need.
Luca could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like:
- looking directly at the sun
- disobeying your parents in dangerous situations
- behaving recklessly – for example, riding a homemade Vespa down a hill
- bullying others – for example, Ercole bullies the boys frequently and is shown as powerful and successful.