Pixar’s 24th feature film, LUCA, is the last project that I worked on in their Emeryville studio, before we were all obliged to finish the movie from our homes, because of the covid pandemic. It will be coming out June 18th on Disney+.

This sweet story of childhood friendships made during a special summer long ago, is directed by Enrico Casarosa, who I first got to know when we both storyboarded on the very earliest form of Ratatouille (when it was still directed by Jan Pinkava) and Enrico also worked on the version that eventually hit the screen (directed by Brad Bird). Since then, we’ve worked on other films together (Up, The Good Dinosaur) and we often exhibited our self-published books side by side at comics conventions (Enrico sharing a table with his wingman Ronnie del Carmen, and me sitting with my old pal Rhode Montijo). It is a joy to see an old colleague and friend finally do a film his way.

For extra feelgood points, another longtime friend of mine was the head of story, John Hoffman. Appropriately, for this story of friendships being made, I made new friends on this project, as most of the super talented young story team were people I’d never worked with before. Lovely people, one and all.

LUCA takes place in Enrico’s native Italy, where production designer Daniela Strijleva also lived as a child, and together they’ve created a vivid world – of childhood camaraderie & secrets, drenched in hot Mediterranean summer sun & flavored with gelato & watermelon – that makes me nostalgic for an Italian childhood that I never had!

Later this month, I hope you all enjoy it too.

12 thoughts on “LUCA”

  1. Cheers for the exciting build-up James!!! Can’t wait to have a virtual Italian vacation with this film!!
    Hope all’s well your end.

    We’re all tickety-boo in London.


  2. Thoughts of being the youngest daughter of an Italian father, who couldn’t wait to leave home. When I did I was asked, “where did you get your name, “Bacigalupo” from? I’d answer, from my father, were did you get yours.”
    James you are great for memories.

    • Ha Ha! Yeah, your surname is such a mouthful, which is why we called you ‘BACI’! I forget now, how many kids in your clan? The O’Connor community had lots of huge clans eh? Dillons, Gasbarris, Bakers, Bacigalupos, Morans, Lawlors, Grants, etc

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