John Lasseter left behind his years at Disney’s Pixar and took Skydance Animation by storm. His first production, Luck, has his trademark touch all over it. Luck is the first full-length offering from Skydance Animation and premiered on Apple TV+ on August 5th.
Skydance Animation is a new animation studio that has been established in Los Angeles, Connecticut, and Madrid. It is headed by John Lasseter (formerly of Pixar). Lasseter has a long pedigree of involvement in the animation industry, during which he won two Academy Awards.
The studio aims to produce a range of films that tell stories of amazing characters in worlds you will want to visit and will never forget. Skydance is not a hierarchical structure, with all the decisions being made from the ‘top.’ The company is structured as a global community, where everyone can have a voice. Movies are created on the back of the contribution of all its people.
Luck was directed by Peggy Holmes, who worked with Lasseter when he was at Disneytoons. Holmes describes how the production of the film posed challenges, as it was made during the pandemic. The artists had to work individually and communicate via Zoom. Despite this, Luck combines visual ingenuity with a variety of compelling characters.
Luck tells the story of Sam (played by Eva Noblezada), an orphan girl who outgrew the orphanage when she turned 18 and had to go out into the world on her own. She is given a tiny apartment and has to keep studying and working to keep it. The thing about Sam is that she has the worst luck in the world. One day, she shares her sandwich with a cat, who leaves a coin as a sort of payment for her kindness. That is when Sam’s luck changes. The coin is lucky and not only brings her good fortune but a new outlook on life.
Then Sam accidentally flushes the coin down the toilet. Predictably, her luck takes a turn for the worse. Sam can see only one option: she must find the cat and get another lucky coin from him. The problem is that Bob the cat, (played by Simon Pegg) doesn’t have any more coins. He will need to return to the Land of Luck to get a new coin, and Sam follows him.
The Land of Luck is ruled by a dragon (voiced by Jane Fonda), with everything and everyone in its place. Things don’t go according to plan in the Land of Luck when Sam’s bad luck begins to disrupt everything. Soon, the luck has run out and there is only one thing to do. Sam and Bob have to go on a mission to bring luck back.
In John Lasseter, Skydance Animation has found someone with the vision and the clout to produce an initial offering with the impact Luck will surely make.
Because of John Lasseter’s involvement in the film, comparisons are inevitably made to films produced by Pixar. The reviews indicate that Luck holds up well. The characters are well drawn and voiced by a cast of stars. It is credited to John Lasseter’s track record that he has attracted artists such as Fonda and Pegg to this film. The cast also features Eva Noblezada, Colin O’Donoghue, John Ratzenberger, and Whoopi Goldberg.
Reviews of Luck describe it as a visually rich tapestry of colors and magical characters. We make friends with dragons, hazmat rabbits, and leprechauns, especially Sam’s disguise as one to account for her height. With Sam’s bad luck driving the story, the film relies a lot on physical comedy. We are inexorably drawn along on Sam’s journey to an exciting conclusion, where Sam finds that luck isn’t something you have, but what you make.
The feedback from the press to the film indicates that Luck is a winner for Skydance Animation. It will enchant the kids and be appreciated by the parents. If the key to the growth and future success of the newcomers on the block is John Lasseter, then Skydance has made the best choice.
Luck is available for streaming exclusively on Apple TV+.