How Pixar created Luca’s adorable, transforming sea monsters

How Pixar created Luca’s adorable, transforming sea monsters


Photo: Pixar Animation Studios

Luca, the next feature film from Pixar, is a coming-of-age story about a pair of unassuming young boys who carry a big secret, as they’re actually sea monsters. Luca and Alberto appear as human on land, where they explore a quaint Italian seaside village. Normally, though, they’re iguana-like sea creatures covered in scales. For the team at Pixar, one of the key questions was figuring out what exactly causes that transformation. And instead of relying on a magical or emotional catalyst, they chose something much more fundamental: water.

That was just the start. Sorting out the transformation also meant ensuring both versions of the characters were linked in some way, as well as ensuring that the process had some kind of emotional weight….

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