Release Date: 08/05/22 [Apple TV+]
Studio: Skydance Animation
"The curtain is pulled back on the millennia-old battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affects everyday lives."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
I've said this many times before but I love animation. Some of my favorite movies of all time are animated and I believe some of the best stories in cinema are in animated form. Some of those movies were produced by a man named John Lasseter and that same man brings us his first movie since leaving Pixar, Luck. The trailers weren't anything to write home about but considering the big name behind it and knowing this is Skydance Animation's first movie (and I'm always down for more animation studios being around) I was hopeful. It's safe to say that I was disappointed in the beautiful, yet derivative Luck.
That's not to say there's nothing worthwhile in Luck, because there certainly is. The movie looks absolutely gorgeous at times with vivid colors filling the Land of Luck, accompanied with some beautiful scenery. There are moments though where the animations are a bit wonky (the lip-syncing isn't quite synched perfectly at times) but it's overall a very nice-looking film. The characters are likable, albeit not the most memorable but you won't dislike spending time with them. They're wholesome and the lessons they learn throughout the film are easy to understand for even the youngest of viewers. Not the most subtle or unique message but a worthy one that I won't spoil here. The voice work is also solid, especially from Eva Noblezada (Main character Sam), Simon Pegg (Bob the Cat), & surprisingly Jane Fonda (A dragon that rules the Land of Luck). Weirdly though Whoopi Goldberg gives a very stilted voice performance almost sounding like she's reading from the script for the first time and they just recorded it and let it be.
My main problem with the film though… is the premise. The lucky and unlucky premise isn't bad but what they do with it is too simple for me to appreciate. The world of the Land of Luck feels as if you mashed Monsters, Inc & Inside Out together but did neither well. It's awkward because the worldbuilding in the movie is way too childish for adults to care about and at times, too complex for young kids to fully comprehend. I was even confused about what was happening at moments because I spaced out and had to go back and rewatch a scene. They throw a lot at you to build the world of Luck but nothing about this world seems fully realized. Not like Monsters, Inc or Inside Out did. Also, it’s worth noting that there's no real villain, which Luck would have easily benefited from. I get why there isn't one here but I would've liked to see one, as previous animated movies with similar premises have had such great villains.
Like I said before, its message is fine for kids but we've had plenty of other animated movies (a few involving Lasseter) that are much more thought-provoking and can be enjoyed by any age. So when the world isn't interesting, the characters are passable yet unremarkable, and the humor is too juvenile to make all but the youngest kids laugh then you have a seriously underwhelming animated adventure. It's not bad at all. Like I said I enjoyed parts of Luck. the animation was solid, the cast of characters were okay and the voice work is, for the most part, really good, however there are glaring flaws that make this more of a forgettable experience than a very memorable debut from a new animation studio. I still look forward to seeing what Lasseter and Skydance Animation will do in the future, but Luck isn't a super impressive beginning to a hopefully stellar future.