Top 10 Things You Missed in Pixar's Luca



Top 10 Things You Missed in Pixar's Luca

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Like a sea monster hiding in plain sight, these are the things you missed in Pixar's "Luca." Our countdown includes Alberto's blue umbrella, "Porco Rosso" references, "La Luna" connections, and more!

Top 10 Things You Missed in Pixar's Luca

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Missed in Pixar’s Luca.

For this list, we’ll be looking at little details and easter eggs from Pixar’s latest film that might have eluded you… like a sea monster hiding in plain sight.

Did YOU notice any hidden details in “Luca?” Let us know in the comments.

#10: Uncle Ugo’s Post-Credits Scene

Despite his limited screen time, Luca’s Uncle Ugo is one of the film’s most memorable characters. Resembling an Anglerfish, Uncle Ugo stands out with a bizarre look and an even more outlandish accent. Looking over the credits, you might’ve been surprised to learn that Uncle Ugo was voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen, although this makes perfect sense in retrospect. Those who stayed beyond the credits were treated to an additional scene between Uncle Ugo and a little fish. Whether intentional or not, this mirrors another post-credits scene from another underwater Pixar film: “Finding Nemo.” Similarly, that film wrapped up with an actual Anglerfish creeping up on Blenny from the shark support group. Unlike the Anglerfish, however, Uncle Ugo thankfully isn’t consumed by his smaller co-star.

#9: Alberto’s Blue Umbrella

During the climatic Portorosso Cup race, Luca is nearly revealed to be a sea monster as the rain starts falling. Alberto rushes to his rescue, however, with a large umbrella. While several others brought umbrellas to the race, Alberto’s sticks out with a vibrant blue exterior. The umbrella’s color not only alludes to Alberto and Luca’s undersea origins, but also a certain Pixar short. Playing with “Monsters University” in 2013, “The Blue Umbrella” centered on a similar object. In a crowd of gloomy umbrellas, the blue protagonist finds an equally colorful soulmate. The blue umbrella in “Luca” might not have a face, but we like to think there’s a red umbrella somewhere in Portorosso for it.

#8: Pizza Planet Vehicle

With exception to “The Incredibles,” the Pizza Planet Truck has popped up in every Pixar feature. “Luca” continues this tradition, albeit with a few tweaks. As is the case with many small Italian towns, the streets of Portorosso weren’t built to accommodate huge vehicles. Most people get around using bikes and Vespa scooters. There are also a few Piaggio Apes, which are kind of like larger, three-wheeled Vespas used for commercial purposes. During the Portorosso Cup race, a Piaggio Ape can be spotted with a familiar rocket on top. We doubt there’s a Pizza Planet restaurant in Portorosso. Since the film takes place between the 50s and 60s, though, maybe Pizza Planet started as a little, Italian eatery before being franchised in the States.

#7: Themes Beneath the Surface

Various outlets have compared this film to Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name,” noting the Italian setting and the male leads concealing a secret. Director Enrico Casarosa clarified, though, that “Luca” is about “platonic friendships” and any similarities weren’t intentional. Honestly, the story can be applied to anybody who’s faced prejudice. It could also be seen as an allegory for puberty. Luca is at the age where most young adults start to notice their bodies developing. Of course, the changes Luca endures on dry land are even more apparent. Luca is also at the point where some parents tell their children about where babies come from… or in Luca’s case where “boats” come from. At least he didn’t ask where “butts” come from.

#6: The Pixar Ball

Draped in yellow with a blue stripe and a red star, the Pixar ball made its debut in the 1986 short “Luxo Jr.” Since then, the ball has been prominently featured in films like “Toy Story,” but its presence in “Luca” flies under the radar. Like the Pizza Planet vehicle, the ball pops up during the final act’s big race. As the characters cycle down the streets, we’re given an aerial view of several buildings. The Pixar ball is visible atop one roof, although you may need a pause button to catch it. We’re not sure how the ball got on the roof, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Luca’s mom kicked it up there.

#5: “Porco Rosso” References

Casarosa has made it no secret that his film was heavily influenced by Hayao Miyazaki. The name Portorosso even pays homage to the 1992 Miyazaki film, “Porco Rosso.” That’s not the only nod to “Porco Rosso,” as both films take place against period Italian backdrops and center on protagonists with animalistic features. Like Porco, Luca and his friends compete against an egotistical villain with a catfish-like mustache. Also, like many characters in Studio Ghibli films, Luca and Alberto are fascinated by vehicles. Instead of planes, though, they have their eyes on a Vespa. Miyazaki’s impact can additionally be found in the film’s designs, which drew inspiration from stop-motion features as well. The result is one of the most unique-looking Pixar films to date.

#4: The Obligatory A113 Reference

Any diehard animation fan knows that A113 refers to a classroom number at the California Institute of the Arts. Since many Pixar employees studied at CalArts, this in-joke has naturally worked its way into most of the studio’s movies along with the Luxo Jr. ball and Pizza Planet truck. A113 surfaces once again towards the conclusion of “Luca” when Alberto hands the titular character a train ticket. This scene gives us two easter eggs for the price of one, as the train Luca and Giulia board is numbered 94608. This is the zip code for Emeryville, California where the Pixar headquarters is based. We thought Giulia and Luca’s school was in Italy, but maybe they’re actually headed for the Golden State.

#3: Cinema Italiano

To give “Luca” an authentic Italian feel, the filmmakers watched several cinematic classics. One of their influences, “Big Deal on Madonna Street,” can even be seen playing on TV. Portorosso is decorated with several movie posters, which all tie into the story’s themes, setting, and time period. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn ride a Vespa scooter on the “Roman Holiday” poster. Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” is visible on another poster. One of the more obscure classics referenced is “La Strada,” which won Italy the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. “Attacco Del Monstro Marino,” or “Attack of the Sea Monster,” is likely a nod to “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” In this case, however, the creature looks more like Uncle Ugo.

#2: “La Luna” Connections

Of all the previous Pixar projects, “Luca” shares the most in common with “La Luna.” This isn’t a coincidence, as Casarosa also directed that Oscar-nominated short. Both take place in Italy and were inspired in part by Miyazaki. Some of the characters even look similar, especially Giulia’s father Massimo and Bambino’s Papà. Visuals aside, the moon plays a key role in “Luca” and “La Luna.” After meeting Giulia, Luca becomes increasingly fascinated by outer space. At another point, Alberto claims that he touched the moon once. This seems unlikely since Alberto doesn’t even know what the moon is. If Bambino could reach the moon with a ladder, though, we suppose Alberto’s story isn’t that far-fetched… aside from the whole “fish in the sky” thing.

#1: Nicolo Pitera

Giulia’s room contains a few Disney references, including a “Pinocchio” book and a doll resembling Donald Duck. Among Giulia’s music collection, there’s a record for an artist named Nicolo Pitera. We’d be shocked if this wasn’t a reference to Nick Pitera, a voice artist who rose to fame on YouTube. He demonstrated his remarkable vocal range in “One Man Disney Movie,” an epic mashup of Mouse House songs, and his cover of “A Whole New World,” singing Jasmine’s part in a feminine falsetto. Pitera has also lent his talents to Pixar, working as a modeling artist on several films and singing the Triple Dent Gum jingle from “Inside Out.” And yes, Pitera is of Italian descent. So, how could Pixar not mention him here?