Luca ★★★½

Maybe it's revelatory that Pixar made a low concept movie without a precisely plotted three act structure and a big stupid climax, but for all the praises the late John Lasseter sang for Ghibli and excepting approximately half of Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up and Inside Out it's a wonder how it took them this long to actually do it. It's as if they finally reached peak high concept stupid with Soul, which had enough half-baked ideas and metaphors to make one's head spin, and simply had to dial it back, but it's a good direction to move in.

Like most Ghibli movies, Ponyocchi aka Trawl Me By Your Name takes place in a seaside European town, has light situational comedy, no clear villain, and a rushed denouement. It's hard to praise any movie for its "vibes" once you've seen the Takahata/Miyazaki canon from Heidi through Kaguya, which is why I usually refrain, but the fact this even tries to emulate them works somehow in its favor, and even the town's name is an homage. This is all to say that maybe the film is better for what it doesn't do than what it does, but it's still worth recommending.

The mermaids have a close male friendship so that makes them gay but also they're children and you're a pedophile for thinking about it so we're at a stalemate there, nothing more can be said.

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