How Pixar’s ‘Luca’ Was Inspired By Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Playful’ Style

Luca” fulfills Pixar’s mandate of expanding its boundaries. The animated film, directed by Enrico Casarosa, is set in Italy, but the storytelling is influenced by Japanese films, especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki: subtle, beautiful and moving. It’s a strong Oscar contender for best animated film.

Casarosa was born in Milan and raised there in the 1970s-80s. But he set the film earlier, circa 1960, “because it becomes more timeless. And since SCUBA diving wasn’t so popular, the existence of an undiscovered sea-monster community was more plausible.”

There were also aesthetic reasons: The late 1950s and early ’60s had distinct style, from clothes to Vespas, and it was the

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