A young sea monster posing as a boy has an unforgettable summer on the Italian Riviera with his newfound best friend.

By Nick Romano
July 30, 2020 at 09:43 AM EDT
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Pixar is dreaming of the Italian Riviera when imagining its next story — coronavirus willing.

The animation studio revealed a first look at its just-announced new movie, Luca, the feature-film directorial debut from Italian filmmaker Enrico Casarosa that is now set for release on June 18, 2021, a date previously held for one of those mysterious "Untitled Pixar Animation" titles.

The film centers on a young boy named Luca who is secretly a sea monster from another world that lies just below the surface of the water. Appearing as a human, he meets a newfound best friend with whom he shares an unforgettable summer at a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides. But Luca's secret threatens this idyllic experience.

Casarosa previously wrote and directed the 2011 Pixar short La Luna, but he's also been involved as a storyboard artist on Ratatouille, Up, and Coco.

Disney/Pixar

"This is a deeply personal story for me, not only because it’s set on the Italian Riviera where I grew up, but because at the core of this film is a celebration of friendship," Casarosa said. "Childhood friendships often set the course of who we want to become and it is those bonds that are at the heart of our story in Luca. So in addition to the beauty and charm of the Italian seaside, our film will feature an unforgettable summer adventure that will fundamentally change Luca."

Andrea Warren, who worked on the Lava short and Cars 3, will serve as a producer.

This year, Pixar is still slated to release Soul, featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey. The film was recently pushed to Nov. 20. Yet, as more and more theatrical titles are bumped into the 2021 release season over concerns surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic, it's unclear how firm that date currently is.

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