Reason: From Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation comes the story of Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest person in the world! Suddenly, she finds herself in the never-before-seen Land of Luck, and she must unite with the magical creatures there to turn her luck around.

Review: The first animated feature from Skydance Animation since the hiring of former Pixar executive John Lasseter, Luck is saddled with representing the former Disney golden boy’s redemption tour in Hollywood. While previously set for a theatrical release via Paramount, Luck was acquired by Apple in early 2021. The streaming platform may not offer the widest audience for this film, but it will offer a litmus test for whether this is the start of the next great animation powerhouse. After watching the movie, I can say Luck is a mixed bag at best, and not the groundbreaking project that Lasseter and Skydance really needed.

While Lasseter was directly involved in all of Pixar’s early hits including directing the first two Toy Story and Cars movies as well A bug’s life, Luck plays like a generic riff on the familiar tropes that made the aforementioned films so refreshing. Luck follows a similar plot to Monsters Inc., Inside outand Soul which turns fantastical elements of life into physical and human-made creations. Instead of laughter and screams, emotions or our soul, Luck personifies the very idea of ​​its title. With both luck and fortune serving as the central theme of this film, writer Kiel Murray, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, along with director Peggy Holmes, don’t instill the same sense of awe or grandeur that we’ve seen in other animated tales.

Part of the problem comes from the story’s setup. The main character in Luck is Sam Greenfield, voiced by Eva Noblezada. Sam is introduced as an 18-year-old aging out of the foster care system, having never found a family after being abandoned by his birth parents. Beset by real-life misfortunes that affect her daily life, Sam stumbles upon a lucky crown left behind by Bob, a talking cat voiced by Simon Pegg. When the coin turns her luck, Sam follows Bob to Lucky Land, where she has to find another coin for her friend Hazel. It’s where a series of misadventures are meant to keep the audience entertained while teaching them a valuable lesson about what luck is really all about. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the motivation behind this story, but it doesn’t really create any chances for the filmmakers to do anything spectacular or distinct on screen.

The Land of Luck should have been a wonderful visual spectacle, but instead feels like leftover designs from a St. Patrick’s Day Movie. There are dragons, leprechauns, cats and pigs, all of whom are in the service of creating positive vibes for people on Earth. Among them are Dragon Babe (Jane Fonda), the CEO of Good Luck, and the Captain (Whoopi Goldberg), who dislikes Bob. On the opposite side is the leader of the misadventure underworld, Rootie (John Ratzenberger). The fantasy characters are all cute and perfectly built to be plush toys on the shelves this holiday season. Neither really drives much in the way of plot, as this story really hinges on Sam’s overly complicated attempts at luck that go awry in perfectly orchestrated ways that somehow succeed in the end for better or worse.

What works in this movie is the animation quality. Luck looks every bit as good as recent Pixar films and bodes well for Skydance Animation projects to come. The soundtrack is also very nice with a solid score composed by John Debney. The cast all do their best with the given material, but there just isn’t enough for them to work with. I tried very hard to give this movie a chance but was getting bored before I even got to half an hour. After a whole hour, Luck ends up feeling tiring. There are some redeeming elements in the film’s final act, but by that point, any kids watching will be the only ones still invested in what happens to Sam and Bob.

With a driving time of just two hours, Luck takes very few risks and does little to differentiate itself from other animated offerings. With Netflix notorious for releasing mediocre animated movies over and over again, I was expecting more from AppleTV+, Skydance and John Lasseter. unfortunately, Luck isn’t nearly good enough to warrant anyone over the age of ten checking it out. There’s nothing really bad about this movie, but there’s also nothing that deserves your attention over revisiting a Pixar-quality production for the fifth or sixth time. Children will be delighted Luck but odds are everyone else will be spending their time scrolling on their phones.

Luck premiered on August 5 on AppleTV+.

5

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