Just having the trailer released recently, a new film is arriving on Disney+ with Pixar's Luca. However, the film itself has a brewing controversy around it that the employees of Pixar are taking a stand and speaking out about having some hard feelings on the release of Luca.
To start, Luca is an upcoming animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios which Walt Disney Pictures will be distributing. It is a coming-of-age film set on the Italian Riviera which focuses on a young boy having the most unforgettable summer of his life, Luca. With gelato, pasta, and a scooter, he found a new best friend but this fun looks like it will not last that long because of a secret: Luca is a sea monster.
The feature-length film will be the directorial debut of Enrico Casarosa. The scribes of the film are Mike Jones and Jesse Andrews, with producer Andrea Warren. The voice cast are as follows: Jacob Tremblay as Luca Paguro, Jack Dylan Grazer as Alberto Scorfano, Emma Berman as Giulia Marcovaldo, Maya Rudolph as Daniela Paguro, Jim Gaffigan as Lorenzo Paguro, Marco Barricelli as Massimo Marcovaldo, and Saverio Raimondo as Ercole Visconti.
Supposedly, the film's music would be composed by Italian musician Ennio Morricone, however, his death was untimely as it happened before he was even asked to do so. With this, the film would be dedicated to him.
Luca is animated by one of the largest animation studios, Pixar, which is well known for bringing various animated films to the big screen such as Soul, Toy Story films, Finding Nemo, Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Brave, Inside Out, Onward, Coco, Monsters Inc., and Cars. There are also Pixar shorts that are close to the heart. These titles are so popular that generations are familiar with almost all of them. Pixar is one of the pillars of Disney.
Controversy: Pixar Employees are Frustrated on Luca's Release
Still, despite the massive success of the previous release of Pixar's films, a controversy is brewing with its employees as regards Luca and its release on Disney+ with no additional cost. It means that Luca will be available for free to anyone with a subscription to Disney+. The employees felt demoralized with this treatment of Disney in the Pixar film.
This is not the first time Pixar employees felt this way. The Academy Award-winner Soul was also released in the same manner and such enraged the employees of Pixar as well. Soul was released on Disney+ for free despite the streaming platform having Disney Premier Access Plus which released Mulan and Raya the Last Dragon. Upcoming films of Cruella and Black Widow will be on the Premier Access as well.
The employees of Pixar were frustrated with the decision of their distributor Disney in their release strategy doing so for free to subscribers of Disney+ devalues the films, Soul and Luca. Pixar's employees explained that Disney seems to imply that their films are no good for an additional charge and even a theatrical release. This release strategy gives their films a smaller potential on revenue returns.
Despite that, Soul won a lot of awards, even bagging the Best Animated Feature of the Academy Awards and even at the Golden Globes. The film itself had such a potential to make revenue had it been released on the Premier Access and even a limited theatrical release.
Controversy: Diversification with Soul and Luca
Disney seems to attract more negative attention as well in giving both Soul and Luca such a release strategy and what is more upsetting is that these films are celebrating diversity with Soul centering on Black characters, and Luca, although not directly labeled as an LGBTQ+ film, it is still being celebrated by the LGBTQ+ community as the plot has an allegory on the characters being gay.
With people of color and LGBTQ+ identities on screen chosen for a free release to the subscribers of the streaming platform, there is a clear showing that Disney is sidelining these titles with their lack of confidence in it. The employees of Pixar know how these films are valued not only in terms of revenue but the quality of these films as well.
Luca premieres on June 18, 2021 via Disney+.