How Hayao Miyazaki inspired Pixar’s Luca


Luca director reveals how legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki served as the inspiration for Pixar’s latest animated feature.

The director of Luca, Enrico Casarosa, reveals how legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki served as the inspiration for Pixar’s latest animated feature. The story of Luca takes place on the Italian Riviera and follows Luca Paguro, a young sea monster capable of taking human form on land. He explores the city of Portorosso with his new best friend, Alberto Scorfano, and embarks on a life-changing summer adventure.

Luca’s voice cast includes Jacob Tremblay and Jack Dylan Glazer, who voiced Luca and Alberto respectively. They were joined by Emma Berman, Saverio Raimondo, Marco Barricelli, Maya Rudolph, Jim Gaffigan and Sacha Baron Cohen, to name a few. The film received positive reviews from critics, with particular praise for its visuals and holds a strong Rotten Tomatoes score of 91%. It was originally slated for a theatrical release, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it debuted directly to stream on Disney + on June 18, 2021.


Related: Luca Cast & Character Guide: What Voice Actors Look Like

When you talk to Variety on the inspirations behind Luca, Casarosa has revealed how he was influenced by Japanese animation at a very young age, including those of famous filmmaker and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. He said that part of Miyazaki’s job is the reason he “started to look at the animation differently,“with special mention for the years 1986 Castle in the sky, and he also described his films as “playful” and “formidable.“Read what he had to say below:

“When I was young, I fell in love with cartoons on television, especially Japanese animation. I loved it, but I never made the connection with “I want to be an animator”. This led me to see Miyazaki’s films. I realized with animation, your drawing comes to life. I started to look at animation differently, like the Disney movies, then Miyazaki’s “Castle in the Sky”. His films are fun and so wonderful.


Hayao Miyazaki is responsible for making some of the most iconic animated films of all time, with movies like the 1988s My neighbor Totoro, 1997 Princess Mononoke, and 2001 As if by magic, which won the Oscar for best animated film. His methods primarily involve the use of intricate watercolors and 2D acrylic animations with vivid colors to enrich the on-screen visuals. The outcome to which the audience is treated in Luca pays homage to Ghibli films in the best possible way as it perfectly blends some common themes from Miyazaki’s films and his traditional hand-drawn animation techniques with modern 3D animation technology from Pixar.

Miyazaki has often been cited as the inspiration for several animators, directors and writers around the world, including Wes Anderson, Steven Spielberg and John Lasseter, to name a few. The fact that his influence has reached such an international scale speaks volumes about his masterful accomplishments. The acclaimed filmmaker was recently pictured in the studio working on his upcoming animated feature How do you live ?, which is supposed to be his last. Even as his career comes to an end, it is clear that Miyazaki’s films will leave a lasting impression on audiences for years to come as in the case of Lucathe director of.

Next: Luca vs. The Little Mermaid: Which Disney Sea Monster Movie Is Best?

Source: Variety

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