What LUCA Teaches Us About Parenthood

Walt Disney Studios

What LUCA Tells Us About Parenthood

By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor

Actress Maya Rudolph (LEGO MOVIE, SNL) fame recently discussed what the new animated movie, Pixar’s LUCA, says about parenthood. For Rudolph, it’s all about love.

In the movie, Rudolph plays the title character’s mom. Her son, Luca, is a sea creature who wants to explore the human world in the little town off the Italian Riviera, but her character is afraid Luca will get hurt.

“She’s a very serious mom,” Rudolph said. “She’s not messing around, and that just equals love. That protection, that strong discipline is love, and wanting to raise her family right. There’s a certain way that Luca’s family is meant to do things, and she wants to raise her son the correct way, but she also is really protecting him from what she already knows to be dangerous in the world. Just like any parent, she’s a fierce protector, because she loves her son.

“Deep down, she knows her son is probably going to explore,” Rudolph added. “But, she’s just trying to protect him, because it’s the scariest thing in the world to let your babies run out in the world and explore. Even though you know they need to do it, it’s terrifying?”

Rudolph said that’s one of the most “terrifying” aspects about having children, having to let them go out into the world.

“It’s less about your child than it is about what the dangers of the world are.”

Popular comedian Jim Gaffigan plays the father in LUCA, Lorenzo, who’s often distracted by his hobbies.

“Lorenzo might be distracted,” Gaffigan said, “but he’s not disinterested. Most parenting partnerships [are] a negotiation on how to raise a child. The fun of Lorenzo is navigating the partnership with his wife in raising Luca, and him finding the right path.”

Gaffigan has five children, and Rudolph has four children. Rudolph said her children are “stoked” that she’s in a Pixar movie.

“They’re all excited by Pixar,” she said, “but my oldest lost her mind, because I think if she had a child, she’d name it Pixar.”

Gaffigan said, “I must admit, my kids. . . the fact that I’m in a Pixar movie is the only thing they’ve ever been impressed by. You’re like, ‘All right. I know this is gonna be good.’ By the way, I’m super excited. I don’t know how Pixar does it, because their batting average is a thousand.”

You can read MOVIEGUIDE®’s review of LUCA here. The animated fantasy comedy is streaming on Disney+.