On June 22nd, Disney*Pixar’s Brave finally hits theaters. As excited as we all are to watch Brave (and we should be!), make sure you’re sitting in your seat early enough so you don’t miss a very special short film which will be played right before Brave called La Luna.
La Luna, written and directed by Enrico Casarosa, was actually one of the nominees for the Best Short Film (Animated) category in the 2012 Academy Awards (Oscars), but this is the first time it will be shown to the public. I had the chance to watch it in April with a group of mom bloggers as we were treated to a special screening at the Pixar Animation studios in California. I really wasn’t sure what to expect during the seven minutes of this no-dialogue film, and I can honestly tell you I was enthralled from beginning to end…and wanted more!
What Enrico Casarosa and his team at Pixar masterfully created is a set of dreamlike sequences that tell the coming-of-age story of a little boy who, for the first time, is invited to come along when his father and grandfather perform their nightly job duties. We see and live through the eyes of Bambino, the boy, as he stares starry eyed at the huge and bright moon that appears right in front of him. The men in Bambino’s life take this beautiful spectacle for granted, but for the boy – and us – it’s bewilderment.
Enrico Casarosa shared with us that the story he wrote, at the core, comes from “the personal experience of dealing with my dad and my grandfather growing up.” In the short, Bambino’s father and grandfather bicker and banter, but we only know it’s so because of the gesticulations and intonations, since there’s no real dialogue, only gibberish.
“When my grandmother passed, we moved and lived with my grandfather,” Enrico told us. “It was a small house. My dad and my grandfather weren’t getting along. Roughly twenty-five years ago, in that kitchen, it would’ve been a lot like what you see in the short…”
Just like the boy, Enrico says “I would always feel stuck in the middle, so I thought that was interesting [and] that there were some good things to explore and a boy having to find his own way when there’s two forces kinda telling him do it this way, do it that way. So it’s a lot about kinda finding your own path. Of course, the more fantastical side of all this story was something that I really just looked for what inspires me.”
As far as what inspired the director and writer to create La Luna he says, “There’s different inspiration for La Luna. One is Saint-Exupery in the Little Prince, I always loved it growing up. And Hayao Miyazaki is a big influence on my work, you know. I kinda study and love his work, and he has this kind of wonderful, kind of surreal, fantastic with very real small details, you know?”
The director goes on to say, “The last kind of inspiration is Italo Calvino. He’s an Italian writer that we read growing up. It’s very surreal work and he had one story with a ladder to the moon, and in that story, specifically, they were, I think, getting milk from the moon. It got me thinking, wouldn’t it be fun to kinda come up with my own strange child-like myth of what someone could be?”
Aside from the wonderful and imaginative story, La Luna captivates with its distinct animation style and the sounds (like those of the stars being swept).
This one little film will clearly have you over the moon. Take a peek.