Telluride Review: Enrico Casarosa's Wonderful Pixar Short 'La Luna'
by Alex Billington
September 3, 2011
It may seem a bit odd to read a review for a short film, especially a Pixar Animation one, but this deserves the attention and praise, as it's one of their best in years. It's called La Luna and is written/directed by Pixar's head of story Enrico Casarosa, an Italian artist who started work as a storyboard artist before working his way up as an animator. As with most Pixar shorts, it's created to appeal and connect with all audiences, no matter what language they speak or where/how they were raised, using "gibberish" to convey dialogue. However, it certainly has the same Pixar magic that's found in all of their feature-length films, too.
The short is inspired by Casarosa's own relation with his father and grandfather in the Genoa Sea, and is about a small boy and his father and grandfather (as seen above) who take a boat far out to sea and wait. There he discovers "his family's most unusual line of work" and gets handed down, for his first time, the tradition of joining in cleaning up bright stars off of a certain bright something else up in the sky. It's simply a wonderful story about how traditions get passed down between family members and what it means to embrace the "newest generation", even if they do things just a bit differently. It was obviously made with an immense amount of love, passion, and personal inspiration, and that certainly shines through in the short.
La Luna played in front of the 3D dance documentary Pina at the Telluride Film Festival and is just one of those shorts that once you see, you never forget. This happened once before when I saw Sam Taylor-Wood's Love You More in Telluride as well; she went on to direct Nowhere Boy. Pixar has a knack for making amazing shorts, but with all the CarsToons and Toy Story ones recently, I feel they've been shying away from original stories, when those usually turn out the best. La Luna is an example of that kind of passion and brilliance paying off wonderfully, as there's a moment in it that will leave you in awe and give you a chill it's so amazing. Sadly these kind of moments are found too far and few between in films recently.
Casarosa's La Luna is currently touring around film festivals, where it belongs at the moment, and will be shown in front of Pixar's Brave in theaters next summer. Try and see it at a festival if you can, but if not, don't worry as everyone will be able to catch this wonderful short in June 2012. Oh and if this doesn't already sound great, it has a brief but beautiful score by Michael Giacchino, too. Another Pixar favorite.