Enrico Casarosa’s first feature film, Luca is a true ode to Italy, but not only. The director returned to DashFUN on his main inspirations to stage the animated film Pixar.
Storyboard artist on Ratatouille or Up there, Enrico Casarosa cut his teeth as a director at Pixar by directing the short film La Luna before directing his first animated feature Luca, available on Disney +.
This film, which represented “a real challenge” for him, tells how two young boys, Luca and Alberto, spend an unforgettable summer in a small coastal town on the Italian Riviera, savoring pasta and ice cream, going on vespa rides and dreaming elsewhere.
But the two friends are actually sea creatures and have to watch out for fishermen and other sailors from Portorosso who would like to capture them. Fortunately for them, the young Giulia, embarks them in a crazy competition which will result in an epic adventure placed under the sign of benevolence, tolerance and the power of friendship.
To make this new Pixar gem, Enrico Casarosa drew on various inspirations in order to transcribe in the image his memories of Italy and his story of friendship and coming of age that will appeal to young and old alike.
Enrico Casarosa dedicates an adoration for the work of Hayao Miyazaki and the amateurs will not have failed to note the small tribute to the animated film Porco Rosso from 1992, which also takes place in Italy, in Luca since the small coastal town in which Luca and Alberto venture is called Portorosso.
The director told us about his passion for Miyazaki: “The love I have for Miyazaki and his work is in my DNA. I love all of his storyboards and have been for years. I have observed and collected his work and have been able to meet him a few times. C it is almost natural for him to be an inspiration. There is something magical and unique about what he does. “
STAND BY ME and other learning films
For the powerful story of friendship between Luca, Alberto and Giulia, Enrico Casarosa cites as inspiration the film Stand By Me by Rob Reiner but also other feature films of strong friendships that change a life. The director mentioned to us in particular La Bande des quatre, “an incredible and unique film that really inspired us.”
“The stories that really inspired Luca’s plot are these wonderful children’s summer movies whose essence was, from day one, something we wanted to capture. We wanted an epic children’s story. epics are the most interesting stories. “
HIS OWN LIFE
During our interview, Roberto Casarosa explained that he was also inspired by his own childhood and a beautiful story of friendship in Italy: “I have this wonderful memory of having lived on the Riviera but especially of growing up there with my best friend. I felt that this personal experience was a great starting point.”
THE GOLDEN AGE OF ITALIAN CINEMA
Finally, the director obviously drew his inspiration from Italian cinema, and especially the golden age of Italian cinema, in particular from Federico Fellini: “I have always been a big fan of Giulietta Masina, I find La Strada to be an exceptional film.
I showed Giulietta Masina to Luca’s animators to see her eyes and her amazing acting. What I also learned from Fellini is his sense of the imaginary and how he staged it, especially in Eight and a Half, which played on the imagination and the dream. “
Watching Italian films again was useful for Enrico Casarosa in particular for the design of Luca in order to transcribe a certain truth on the screen: “We were inspired by a certain neorealism, notably in The Bicycle Thief by Vittorio De Sica and La terre tremble by Luchino Visconti. It was really great to immerse yourself in this Italian cinema with the whole team.”