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Luca (Disney+)

First slide

The timid young sea monster of the title (voice of Jacob Tremblay), who lives off the coast of Liguria, discovers that he is transformed into a preteen boy when on dry land, befriends a more daring shape-shifter (voice of Jack Dylan Grazer) in the same situation and a strictly human local girl (voice of Emma Berman) and together the trio enters a triathlon, hoping to defeat the arrogant bully (voice of Saverio Raimondo) who has long dominated the event. As the two lads try to keep the secret of their dual identity, the protagonist is pursued by his overprotective mom (voice of Maya Rudolph) and well-meaning but distracted dad (voice of Jim Gaffigan).

While it does nothing to solve the perennial problem for real-life parents that obedient children rarely have adventures, director Enrico Casarosa's animated fantasy is otherwise a winsome tale full of charm and Italian flair. Too complicated for tots, who might also be frightened, it's acceptable for all others.

Watch out for: Characters in peril, a couple of rude gestures.
Rated: A-I, general patronage. MPAA: PG.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021