Giulia, Luca and Alberto in Pixar's Luca

After a long year spent at home, major movies are ready to bounce back this summer with a host of blockbusters to be excited about, including In The Heights, Cruella and Black Widow each coming simultaneously to theaters and streaming. However, one highly-anticipated family film will still be skipping the big screen altogether: Pixar’s Luca. The animation studio’s followup to Soul will be a Disney+ exclusive this summer, and its director has shared his thoughts about that release plan.

Luca will be Enrico Casarosa’s directorial debut for a feature film, but you’ll likely remember his distinct style from his Pixar short La Luna, which played ahead of Brave in 2011. When CinemaBlend spoke to Casarosa during a virtual interview, the filmmaker shared his feelings on Luca missing out on theaters with the following:

The situation is what it is. We could not have foreseen this. What’s exciting is all the love we’ve put into every frame. We go into our Pixar theater once a week and look at it on the big screen even though we’re [working] mostly from home. We make it for the experience. I think what I find so exciting is that those same details and those wonderful little layers can be appreciated with multiple viewings. So there’s this other way to enjoy it with your family safely at home. I hope you have a big TV, because we in animation put some much meaning [in the details of Luca] that you’re not going to catch the first time, you’re going to catch the second time.

Luca was initially set for a theatrical release this summer until Disney announced last month it would instead be a streaming exclusive, following in the footsteps of Soul over the holiday season. The decision has been controversial among Disney fans, especially since the movie would come at a time when vaccine rollouts have more people going out to experience movies in theaters again. CinemaBlend’s own poll on the decision had over 50% wishing to see Luca in theaters, while 36% were just happy to see it no matter what and 13% preferred a home experience. Enrico Casarosa also said this to us:

It is sad we can’t have that communal experience together, but we’re thinking about how we do watch parties to get some of that feeling of togetherness. Lastly, I would say an exciting part is it feels like a wonderful, generous gift. We felt that way making it and we were able to take a dive most days into these waters in visiting Porto Rosso in the last year so we really are happy we can share this with the world as the summer starts. Hopefully, it’s a little playful dive into the water of the Mediterranean from the couch. And Soul’s release was so wonderful and positive. And you know, as a filmmaker, you’re so happy that you’re going to reach this amount of people. It’s so exciting.

Pixar’s Luca took five years to make, with a huge amount of its production taking place in the past year during COVID-19 restrictions. The cast and crew adapted to the circumstances remotely, with the actors, like Jacob Tremblay and Jack Dylan Grazer, even taking to their at-home closets to record their voice work. Coming out of a difficult year for many families, Luca’s director is just happy to share his deeply personal film safely to families who have Disney+. Last summer, the streaming service broke major streaming records with the July release of Hamilton, and Soul was also a huge hit for households. Check out the brand new trailer for Luca:

Despite the bummer of Luca skipping the big screen like Soul, it will truly be a gift to see this Pixar film without cost aside from a Disney+ subscription. The beauty of having Luca at home will be the convenience to see it without leaving the house and with the ability to hit replay right after the credits roll. Luca comes to Disney+ on June 18 along with a packed movie release schedule for summer 2021.

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