The Music of Pixar’s Luca is inspired by Italian Pop Songs and Film Scores

Luca is the latest film from Pixar and Disney on Disney+, and it is set in the ’50s and ’60s of the Italian Riviera. Luca Paguro is a sea monster boy who finds out he can transform into a human boy on dry land. Like Ariel in The Little Mermaid, he wants to learn all about the world above.

With the ’50s Italian setting, director Enrico Casarosa wanted to infuse the music of that time into the film with older Italian pop and other genres.

“From the first moment, I think when you make a summer movie, you want to hear what’s playing on that radio quite often through it,” Casarosa said at the Luca global press conference. “That was an important part of making it feel like it’s part of the genre. And it’s something about 1950s Italian pop, there are just so many great songs that I love. So, we really wanted to take you there. We wanted to take you there with opera, so we also wanted to use opera.”

Dan Romer is the composer for the film, and the director talks about how they listened to Italian film scores for inspiration.

“There’s a lot of his scores that really felt like, ‘Oh, there’s this adventure with some kids,'” the director said of Romer. “Working with him was so much fun. He’s very collaborative. We bombarded him with inspiration because we also wanted to bring an Italian side. So we listened together to Nino Rota and a lot of amazing Fellini scores or Nicola Piovani. He had a tough job because our scores do a lot emotionally. We want to have fun and be very goofy in one moment and just punch you in the heart, as we say often here, with another moment. And on top of that, we wanted his beautiful style mixed with these Italian influences, and he knocked it out of the park. I love the score.”

Luca is written by Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones and produced by Andrea Warren. The voice cast includes Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Marco Barricelli, Saverio Raimondo, Maya Rudolph, and Jim Gaffigan.

Luca is now available on Disney+.

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