Disney and Pixar’s Luca brings some new and unique characters to the screen! Get to know them, and the actors voicing them, in this article.
Disney and Pixar’s Luca is a coming of age story about real, true friendship. It introduces a charming cast of characters that includes humans, sea monsters, and sea monsters who look human when they’re out of the water. Helping to bring them to life is a roster of voice talent whose adventurous spirit shines through the unique and colorful characters.
Get to know these characters, and the talent that voices them,
before watching the film on Disney+ on June 18th!
LUCA PAGURO is a bright and inventive 13-year-old sea monster with endless curiosity – especially when it comes to the mysterious world above the sea. Although he’s been warned his whole life that the human world is a dangerous place, he longs for something beyond his quiet farm life where he herds goatfish day after day. So when another sea monster with actual experience above the surface takes Luca under his fin, his eyes open up to a whole world of possibilities.
“He’s never been to the surface,” says director Enrico Casarosa. “When we meet him, he’s beginning to feel that his world is a little too small for him. He starts to follow his nose a bit, venturing farther and farther from the underwater meadow where he takes care of the goatfish. Once a rule-follower, suddenly Luca is checking out an object that fell off a boat. That’s how he meets Alberto.”
According to production designer Daniela Strijleva, it took a year to design the character because they wanted to get to know him. “Enrico always wanted Luca to be a bit of an introvert and someone who was curious, but it took us a bit longer to figure out that Luca is a dreamer,” she says. “He has a strong imagination and a really evolved inner life. That’s when the character came to life for me.”
Jacob Tremblay lends his voice to Luca. “There’s an earnestness about him,” says Casarosa. “He’s a master at playing anxious and polite—someone who’s timid and wants to please. He’s an amazing actor.”
ALBERTO SCORFANO is an independent, free-spirited teenage sea monster with unbridled enthusiasm for the human world. Expressive and gregarious, he is all about having fun, so inviting a fellow sea monster to hang out above the surface is a no brainer for Alberto. Besides, Luca is the perfect audience for Alberto’s vast – albeit questionable – knowledge of all things human.
“I love characters who are so confident and, at the same time, so wrong,” says screenwriter Mike Jones. “I think Alberto has a really deep sense of imagination and perhaps it’s so powerful, it becomes the truth to him. His knowledge isn’t always accurate, but it comes from an honest place.”
According to story supervisor John Hoffman, Alberto’s bravado is the perfect counter to Luca’s hesitation. “If they were at a party, Luca would be the wallflower in the corner taking it all in,” he says. “Alberto would be the guy on the roof jumping into the pool.”
Jack Dylan Grazer provides the voice of Alberto. “There’s something playful about Jack,” says Casarosa. “He’s the perfect troublemaker – a wonderful improviser. There’s something so off-the-cuff in the way he acts, he’s an amazing talent.”
GIULIA MARCOVALDO is an outgoing and charming adventurer with a love of books and learning. She only spends summers in Portorosso, so she hasn’t cultivated many friendships, which makes her an easy target of the town bully. But when two new kids show up who clearly need an ally, Giulia is more than happy to oblige – especially when they agree to team up with her in a local race she desperately wants to win.
“She is full of fire and very eager to defend these two strange boys from the town bully,” says executive producer Kiri Hart. “Giulia is a very special character. She’s certain about what she believes and she’s bold in asserting those beliefs. She’s also funny and lively—she has so much passion for finding out how the world works, she becomes a catalyst for Luca.”
“We wanted her to look a little like Massimo, her father,” says production designer Daniela Strijleva. “Her design – with her crazy red hair, crooked nose and giant fisherman’s pants—reflects her strong will and sense of independence.”
Following an extensive search, newcomer Emma Berman was called on to help bring Giulia to life. “Emma is such a cheerful, lively, giggly person,” says producer Andrea Warren. “We’d all joke that we wished we could hang out with her a little bit every day because she just embodies joy.”
ERCOLE VISCONTI is the bully of the small Italian town of Portorosso and repeat champion of the town’s Portorosso Cup race. He’s a Vespa-owning, pompadoured blowhard who believes that everyone loves him and enjoys watching him eat sandwiches. He has two worshipful followers, Ciccio and Guido, who accompany him everywhere, ready to do his bidding.
“Ercole was a lot of fun to write because he’s a narcissist,” says screenwriter Jesse Andrews. “But like most narcissists, he’s incredibly insecure. He doesn’t want anyone else stealing attention from him. He’s a small fish who thinks he’s a huge fish because the pond isn’t very big.”
Italian comedian Saverio Raimondo provides the voice of Ercole. “He really knew how to play that character,” says Warren. He knew how to access that self-obsessed jerk we’ve all encountered at some point in our lives—he really hammed it up.”
MASSIMO MARCOVALDO, Giulia’s dad, is an imposing, tattooed, one-armed fisherman of few words. Luca and Alberto can’t help but be intimidated by his formidable size and skill with a knife, but Massimo has a soft heart, especially for his daughter.
“While Luca’s parents take Luca’s curiosity for granted, Massimo wants Giulia to fly,” says screenwriter Mike Jones. “And he leads by example. He was born with one arm, but he’s capable of doing everything—he’s not defined by it.”
Theater actor Marco Barricelli provides the voice of Massimo. “He has that baritone booming voice that really can be used to intimidate,” says producer Andrea Warren.
DANIELA PAGURO is Luca’s loving mother who’s determined to keep her son safe. She regularly warns Luca of the dangers beyond the sea and the land monsters who live there. Daniela is no pushover: If she thinks Luca is breaking her number-one rule – don’t go near the surface – she’ll go to great lengths to stop him.
“Luca’s mom comes off as overbearing, but she just cares about her son a great deal,” says story supervisor John Hoffman.
Maya Rudolph lends her voice to Daniela. “As a mother myself, I really wanted to make sure that Daniela’s harshness was balanced with equal amounts of warmth,” says Warren. “When we first talked to Maya about the role, she really related to the multiple roles that Daniela plays as a mother.”
LORENZO PAGURO is Luca’s well-meaning, but sometimes distracted dad who’s very passionate about his hobby of raising prize-winning crabs.
Jim Gaffigan lends his voice to Lorenzo. “He’s somebody who understands the role of a father,” says Warren. “Jim has five kids and it’s something he talks about a lot in his standup, podcasts and all of his work. He really embraced the role. And he and Maya Rudolph really brought a fun energy to Luca’s parents.”
GRANDMA PAGURO and Luca have an understanding. She sees the spark in her grandson’s eye, his longing for more, and celebrates it – albeit secretly. Grandma knows that breaking a rule or two is part of growing up, and she’s a little too happy to look the other way if Luca’s rebellious side should emerge. What his parents don’t know probably won’t kill them.
“Luca’s grandmother understands his desire to see the world,” says Andrews. “It’s possible she’s ventured beyond the sea a time or two in her day—sometimes that sense of adventure can skip a generation.”
Sandy Martin voices Grandma Paguro.
About Disney and Pixar’s Luca
Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, the original animated feature is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: he is a sea monster from another world just below the water’s surface.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.