Pixar Animation Studios has established a reputation for hiring and promoting from within the company, earning it a great deal of loyalty from its technical staff. Today, Pixar announced that long-time storyboard artist, Enrico Casarosa, is directing the coming-of-age adventure, Luca, as the studio’s summer 2021 release.
Casarosa previously wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated 2011 animated short, La Luna, but he’s been working as a storyboard artist at Pixar, beginning with 2007’s Ratatouille and performing similar duties on 2009’s Up, 2017’s Coco and Alan Barillaro‘s 2016 short, Piper. All four of the latter movies won the Academy Award in their respective Oscar category.
Before joining Pixar, Casarosa worked as a storyboard artist for Blue Sky Studios on their early animated features, Robots and Ice Age, and before that, he worked in the art departments for animated series, 101 Dalmations: The Series and Starla and the Jewel Riders.
Luca centers on a boy living on the Italian Riviera who finds a new friend with whom he shares adventures, only to discover the dark secret that he’s really a sea monster from another world. Casarosa mentioned the personal nature of the story being told in Luca:
“This is a deeply personal story for me, not only because it’s set on the Italian Riviera where I grew up, but because at the core of this film is a celebration of friendship. Childhood friendships often set the course of who we want to become and it is those bonds that are at the heart of our story in Luca.” Casarosa said in a statement. “So in addition to the beauty and charm of the Italian seaside, our film will feature an unforgettable summer adventure that will fundamentally change Luca.”
Pixar’s second animated feature of 2020, Pete Docter‘s Soul was delayed from its original summer release to November 20, right before Thanksgiving, due to the COVID pandemic,
Luca will be released on June 18, 2021. You can read more about it at Variety: