John Lasseter is a big name in animation, having started life at the Walt Disney company he famously went on to run Pixar, producing some of the largest grossing animated movies of all time including the Toy Story franchise, Frozen, The Incredibles etc, etc.
Then, around 2017, he stepped back from his role when allegations began surfacing about his conduct towards employees, he subsequently left Pixar in 2018 and in 2019 went to run Skydance Animation, which didn’t go down that well with everyone.
Anyway, it is here, at Skydance Animation, that we find Lasseter and co and their first output comes courtesy of AppleTV+ and is called, Luck.
Luck sees the unluckiest human in the world, Sam Greenfield, Eva Noblezada (“Champ (Short)”, “Yellow Rose”), having to leave the care home she’s lived in all her childhood when she turns 18 and is set up with her own place.
This is disconcerting to Sam, but she’s more worried about leaving her young friend Hazel, Adelynn Spoon (“Big City Greens (TV)”, “Watchmen (TV)”), in the home. She is desperate for Hazel to find her forever family and not suffer the same fate as Sam.
Whilst desperately searching for some luck, Sam happens to feed a stray black cat, Bob, Simon Pegg (“Slaughterhouse Rulez”, “Ready Player One”), who accidentally drops his lucky penny which Sam finds. This gives her enormous luck and she can’t wait to pass it onto Hazel before a family takes her for a weekend.
However, Sam manages to flush the penny down the toilet. She does though, bump into Bob again and this time he talks! She chases him across the city and witnesses him opening a portal to another world, and she promptly follows him.
They arrive in the land of luck, only, humans aren’t allowed in the land of luck and Bob doesn’t have his lucky penny which he’s meant to return to the The Captain, Whoopi Goldberg (“Star Trek: Picard (TV)”, “Harlem (TV)”), who already hates him.
Sam comes up with a plan. Together, they’ll get a new penny, she will loan it to Hazel in time for her visit and then pass it on to Bob who can give it back to The Captain and save himself from being banished to the unlucky part of the land of luck.
What follows is a host of unlucky and sometimes lucky events as the pair go on an adventure through the land of luck in order for Sam to help her friend Hazel and Bob. Along the way they meet Gerry the leprechaun, Colin O’Donoghue (“What Still Remains”, “Wizards (TV)”), The Dragon, Jane Fonda (“Youth”, “Stoner Cats (TV)”), Rootie, John Ratzenberger (“Soul”, “Toy Story 4”), and loads more characters.
Whilst watching Luck you are distinctly aware that many of the team behind the movie have come from Pixar, there’s a certain familiarity to it, from both story and look and feel.
The animation itself doesn’t take a massive leap forward but it’s not bad either, whilst the story is very saccharine throughout. With other Pixar movies there tends to be jokes for both children and adults, recognising that it’s adults who will be sat with their children watching the movies, this isn’t the case with Luck, it’s aimed squarely at a younger audience who will love the bright colours and various characters in the land of luck.
Whether, as an adult, you enjoy that or not is squarely down to your preference. There are moments that will make you laugh, regardless of you age, and there’s enough to keep you interested. But this isn’t a step-forward as we saw with Toy Story or Kubo And The Two Strings, it’s just a nice family movie.
5th August 2022
THE QUICK SELL
The curtain is pulled back on the millennia-old battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affects everyday lives.