★★★★ Watched 6 Aug, 2022
Good feel, at first glance Pixar-like animated feature, from a new studio in town.
Down on her luck for life girl who never got adopted didn’t convince me at first as I felt her bad luck vibe was pushed a bit too far. Obviously for a comedic effect, but when playing with the viewer’s emotions while making fun of someone’s misfortune is a tricky endeavor. The story gradually develops in an unpredictable way even though the overall arch of self-acceptance and the importance of life’s balance between good and bad, light and darkness is an evergreen concept. A life lesson particularly important in today’s chaotic world for the young generation.
What spoke to me the most in this feature was the cast of colorful characters that in some way feel more at home in a live-action movie, than in an animated one. The main human character feels more like the traditional comedic sidekick from a Disney movie, while the black cat counterbalances the dynamic with a somber view of life. There’s also a cheerful leprechaun, a charming flamboyant unicorn with a german accent, and his spirited love interest and the CEO of the land a female dragon.
While watching the movie cold with no prior research, several scenes doused me with an interesting feeling of a cleverly choreographed act with a great impact. This feeling eventually made sense when I read that the director Peggy Holmes started as a choreographer. Since 2004 she directed 4 second-rate animated films for Disney, which is why Luck has such a familiar animation vibe. I did know this was the first feature for Skydance Animation Madrid, which from my quick research looks to be a rebranded Ilion Animation Studios (Planet 51, Mortadelo and Filemon: Mission Implausible, Wonder Park).
The studio managed to snatch a lot of experienced talent from various top animation studios, mainly Disney. Probably the most prominent as well as controversial is John Lasseter. The moment he was hired Emma Thompson dropped from the role of the dragon and got replaced by Jane Fonda. Lasseter shot to stardom was an executive producer position at Pixar, which lead to the chief creative officer position at both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios after Disney took over Pixar Studios. He left Pixar in 2018 after allegations of inappropriate behavior towards female employees and half a year later joined Skydance Animation.
Being an animation aficionado since a very young age I have to say this looks like a promising start for a newly branded studio to compete with the top dogs (Pixar/Disney, DreamWorks, Illumination Entertainment, Sony Pictures Animation). I just wish they would push a bit more to distinguish themselves, especially from Pixar, because what makes other big studios interesting is that each developed their own style of animation as well as humor and storytelling.