Pixar officially announces their next movie, Luca, which is set for a June 2021 release. Over the past several years, Pixar has made several sequels, including Finding Dory, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4 (all of which were critically and commercially successful). However, the animation studio is now putting a renewed focus on crafting more original films, with no other followups said to be in development. Audiences are getting a taste of this strategy in 2020, with Onward hitting theaters back in March, and Soul currently scheduled to come out in November.
There will be more on the way over the next few years, as Disney's set aside a handful of release dates for new Pixar movies between 2021 and 2023. However, other than the fact these wouldn't be sequels to any of Pixar's established brands, viewers were left in the dark about what exactly they'd be. Now, Pixar's revealed their next movie, and it's coming out next summer.
Today, Pixar announced Luca, an original film directed by Enrico Casarosa (who helmed the Pixar short La Luna). It will release in theaters on June 18, 2021. The studio also revealed a Luca synopsis and an image. See both in the space below:
Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, the original animated feature is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: he is a sea monster from another world just below the water’s surface.
Judging from this, it appears Luca will be the latest spin on Pixar's tried and true buddy movie formula, with Luca and his sea monster companion going on an incredible journey together. It will be interesting to see what the narrative's nuances are, as Pixar is renowned for injecting their films with a considerable amount of substance. They typically use high-concept setups like a fantasy suburbia or anthropomorphized emotions to explore something deeper about the human condition. Onward, for instance, dealt with grieving the loss of a loved one and used a touching sibling bond as its emotional core. In a press release, Casarosa mentioned Luca "is a celebration of friendship," so Luca's dynamic with his best friend will serve as the beating heart of the story. Perhaps Luca will be about learning to accept those who are different from you, since it sounds like the friend's true nature is the catalyst for conflict.
In all likelihood, viewers will get a better idea what to expect from Luna later this year. It wouldn't be surprising if Disney attached a teaser trailer to Soul. However, this is all considering Soul is able to come out in November. With the coronavirus pandemic still a major issue in America, there's no guarantee any of the slated movie release dates will stick. Tenet is trying something new by coming out in countries that have curbed the COVID-19 spread and select U.S. cities, but it remains to be seen how successful that model is. Disney may have to move Soul again (that film was supposed to come out in June), which conceivably would affect Luca. Time will tell, but hopefully things can stick to schedule.