The sea monsters from Luca bear some similarities to the monsters in Monsters, Inc., proving that both creatures may have the same origins.
The sea monsters in Luca may have deeper origins in the Pixar universe than viewers may realize. The creatures are seemingly banished to the sea and afraid of people. It’s a story point that feels reminiscent of one of Pixar’s cornerstone movies — Monsters, Inc. This coincidence implies that the sea creatures in Luca may be exiles from Monsters, Inc.
Luca tells the story of a shy Italian teenage sea monster who dreams of seeing life above the surface and going to school. Luca eventually makes the trip to the surface where he meets fellow sea monster Alberto who encourages him to explore a sea monster truth — they are able to take human form when they are dry on land. The two boys experience life in a small seaside town and go on countless adventures during one unforgettable summer. But all the while, they have to keep the secret of their true identities from the human residents of the town.
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While Luca is primarily a coming-of-age story, the conflict between humans and monsters in the Pixar movie is a huge part of the story. It’s a theme that was also prevalent in Monsters, Inc. As Pixar is well-known for its meticulously interconnected universe, that connection may very well be the thing that cements the two movies together.
Every Pixar Movie Is Connected — Theory Explained
While it’s never been confirmed as canon, author Jon Negroni developed a thorough theory in 2013 explaining how every Pixar movie is connected. Pixar’s wide cannon of movies take place across thousands of years, with The Good Dinosaur taking place 65 million years in the past and Monsters, Inc. taking place thousands of years in the future. Essentially, it tracks the rise and fall of society and humanity, with the Toy Story franchise’s Buy n Large poisoning the planet. That energy leads to humans dying out but gives rise to animals and inanimate objects taking over the planet. The key player in this entire theory is Boo from Monsters, Inc. After Sully left her at the end of the movie, she made it her life’s mission to find him again. She remembered the doors’ magic and used them to travel across different time periods in order to search for him. Boo did this for decades until she became an old woman, specifically the witch in Brave. The Pixar theory goes round and round in a loop. Various Easter eggs and references across the movies in order connect them to one another and continually flesh out the Pixar universe. Some Easter eggs are as blunt as Toy Story‘s Pizza Planet truck appearing in nearly every Pixar movie. Other movies take a more subtle approach to referencing their predecessors in the shared movies. Luca’s sea monsters are a prime example of that.
Monsters, Inc. Proved Human Myths Were Exiled Monsters
Monsters, Inc. revealed that human myths were created from exiled monsters. For example, Sully and Mike ended up being banished from Monstropolis to the Himalayas. They come in contact with another banished monster referred to as the Yeti, who turns out to be the Abominable Snowman. Mike mentions two other banished monsters as well — Loch Ness and Big Foot. This moment showed that monsters banished from their own world become mythical creatures of human folklore. This revelation adds layers to the monster and human relationship established in the movie. In Monsters, Inc., the titular creatures are in the scare business — they make their living scaring humans. But the catch is that monsters are scared and repulsed by humans. Banished monsters, such as the Abominable Snowman, are forced to live among humans. Because of that, they have to live in constant hiding. It makes for an even more fraught relationship between humans and monsters, making humans constantly terrified of what they are capable of.
Sea Monsters Are Scared Of People, Like Monsters
This is yet another parallel between Luca and Monsters, Inc. Sea monsters are also something of a myth in Luca. Residents of the town of Portorosso may hunt sea monsters like Luca and Alberto, but the monsters are rarely seen. But the sea monsters are aware of humanity’s disdain for them, forcing them to stay in the ocean. Just like the monsters in Monsters, Inc., this makes them terrified of humans. They’re also a little disgusted with humans as well. Luca’s parents eventually come on land in an attempt to find their missing son. So, naturally, when they’re dried off, they take the shape of humans, and they’re not happy with their appearances. Near the end of the movie, Alberto, Luca, and his parents are revealed to be sea monsters in front of the entire town. The humans are initially terrified of the sea monsters. The nature of this relationship is exactly reminiscent of Monsters, Inc. The audience would expect humans to be afraid of monsters in the story. But the monsters being afraid of the people they’re expected to scare subverts the expectation.
Theory: Luca’s First Sea Monsters Were Banished
Taking all of this evidence into account shows that the sea monsters from Luca very well may be exiled monsters from the world of Monsters, Inc. As a Pixar movie, Luca automatically connects to the shared universe. This is evidenced by some of its Easter eggs, such as the iconic Luxo ball and the Pizza Planet truck being hidden in plain sight within the movie. Those items prove that it’s within reason to search for other connections to previous Pixar movies. With monsters being central to Luca‘s plot, it would make sense for the film to be the Monsters, Inc. franchise’s natural successor. Sea monsters have been a part of human lore for nearly as long as it has existed. Given the information shared in Monsters, Inc., it would only make sense to assume that the sea monsters are exiled previous residents of Monstropolis. Revelations like this only deepen the fabric of the Pixar shared universe. For about a decade now, Marvel has become the premier shared cinematic universe. Pixar simply doesn’t get enough credit for the work they do. While Marvel’s deeply detailed web of movies is incredibly impressive, Pixar has been planting Easter eggs and references for more than 20 years now. Luca is just the latest example of how imaginative the animation studio is.
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