Disney Pixar
Disney Pixar

The director of Pixar’s Luca has opened up about the film’s LGBTQ+ undertones in a brand new interview.

In June 2021, Disney released their sun-kissed coming-of-age movie Luca.

Set on the Italian Riviera, the film follows the titular character – a young sea monster – who aspires to explore the seaside town of Portorosso.

After discovering that he can assume a human form on land, Luca meets fellow sea monster and land dweller Alberto Scofano.

The two then go on a heartwarming summer adventure that’s full of gelato, a Vespa race and the discovery of everlasting friendship.

After the film’s release, Disney fans quickly speculated that Luca and Alberto’s relationship was queer coded.

Viewers also noticed parallels to director Luca Guadagnino’s critically-acclaimed gay drama Call Me By Your Name, which starred Timothèe Chalamet and Armie Hammer as two men who fall in love in 20th century Italy.

The film’s suspected LGBTQ+ message was seemingly shut down by the director Enrico Casarosa after he told Yahoo Entertainment it was about “platonic friendships”.

Casarosa has now revealed that the creative team discussed the possibility of the film being a queer story during an interview with The Wrap.

“We talked about it and I mean, I think the reason probably we didn’t talk about it as much and, to a certain degree, we’re slightly surprised by the amount of people talking about romance is that we were really focusing on friendship and so pre-romance,” he explained.

He then reiterated that the film, which was based on his childhood in Genoa, did however contain a loving friendship between the two characters.

“But it is a kind of love, right? There’s a lot of hugging and it’s physical and my experience as a straight man certainly wasn’t that. The things we did talk a lot about is what is the metaphor here for being a sea monster, for being different,” he said.

“And some people seem to get mad that I’m not saying yes or no, but I feel like, well, this is a movie about being open to any difference.”

Later in the interview, Casarosa revealed that the film was created for all the different communities that may “feel like outsiders”.

“It’s so various. And my version was certainly we were two geeks, losery, and so it’s not where I was coming from but it’s so wonderful and even more powerful for the LGBTQ+ community who has felt so much of as an outsider, right, where this is so real and stronger than my experience, I’m sure to have to grow up with that kind of a difference,” he said.

“I felt really honoured and I don’t like to say yes or no. I can say, well, that’s not how we wrote it. It wasn’t my experience, but I love that that metaphor is reading in all these different ways.”

Although the film isn’t canonically queer, it hasn’t stopped fans from using its heartwarming messages to express their own LGBTQ+ identity.

Disney and Pixar’s Luca is currently available to stream on Disney Plus.