Director: Enrico Casarosa
Year Released: 2021
Sea creature Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) is constantly warned by his parents (Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan) to not go anywhere near the surface of the water but, being young and curious, does so ... only to find that, when dry, he resembles a human; on terra firma he befriends fellow shape shifter Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) and they dream of riding a Vespa all around Italy. Pixar really dug into its own closet to come up with this mutant hybrid - a little bit of Finding Nemo, a sprinkle of Cars, a hint of Onward - that also uses so, so many (grating) Italian stereotypes: the studio can always be counted on to have crisp and vibrant animation, but on minor projects they really dumb down the message, so here it comes down to "don't be afraid to explore the world" and that "some people will accept you for being different and some won't and you'll just have to deal with that" (I was curious if this was a wink at the transgender community). Still, it ends sweetly, albeit impractically: centuries of fearing monsters from the deep ... to sudden acceptance? That's gonna take some time....