Pixar has always been at the forefront of delivering beautiful and inventive animated offerings to the public. Its latest feature, Luca, is no exception, gaining widespread acclaim from both critics and the general public alike. But this movie holds a special significance for many members of the LGBTQ+ community, as the storyline follows a young boy trying to understand who he is and find his place in the world. Through its unique narrative, the film is seen to represent and highlight issues of identity, representation, and acceptance.
One of the core themes that runs throughout Luca is that of coming out of the closet. When Luca is first introduced to viewers, he is seen living a life of disguised conformity due to his homosexual identity. The movie follows his journey of cautious exploration, as he starts to spread his wings and open up to his newfound friends and family, despite the fear he has of the wider community’s response. What’s more, his eventual embrace of the identity he struggles to outwardly express serves as a powerful reminder to those in the LGBTQ+ community who are still struggling with their identity that they too can find the confidence to live life fully and proudly as themselves.
The film’s further exploration of themes of acceptance and tolerance are also crucial. Luca finds joy and comfort within the safe walls of an LGBTQ+-friendly world, a place where he’s accepted no matter what. Through characters backstories and struggles to live their true selves in a world that isn’t accepting, the movie paints a picture of a world where everyone is accepted, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Luca’s heavy reliance on characters embracing their true selves is also groundbreaking. In the past, LGBTQ+ characters have faced negative stereotyping and their stories told by those outside of the community, but in this case, Pixar puts the focus firmly back on those who are best placed to tell those stories, those at the heart of the LGBTQ+ community. This sends an important message to audience members, regardless of their background – everyone should have the same rights and be accepted regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
Overall, Luca is an impressive and thoughtful addition to the Pixar canon. At 89%, it is the highest-rated Pixar film on Rotten Tomatoes to date and is an instant classic. It has a gorgeous soundtrack and its 2D animation is simply stunning. But beyond that, Luca serves an important reminder of the importance of representation in the media. Although the movie is centred on a young boy’s exploration of his identity, many of its thematic messages can apply to all genders and sexual orientations. For the LGBTQ+ community, Luca serves as an inspiring reminder that they too deserve to be seen, heard, and accepted in the world.