Gay Fish

Is Pixar’s Luca finally canonically gay?

· Updated on January 30, 2024

Nearly three years after Pixar’s Luca had us shouting at our screens about queer fish, it might finally be canon: those sea monsters are totally gay for each other.

If it’s been a minute since you’ve seen Luca, here’s a quick recap. Luca is a young sea monster who feels an inexplicable draw to the human world. He meets Alberto, another sea monster who’s already living in secret on land, and the two become fast friends. When Luca’s parents learn of his trips to the surface and threaten to send him away to conversion camp — sorry, “The Deep” — Luca and Alberto decide to run away together, living out a dreamlike Italian summer that drew inevitable comparison to Call Me By Your Name.

Since Luca came out in 2021, theories about the film’s queerness have been flying. Enrico Casarosa, the film’s director, addressed the fan theories in 2022, saying that making Luca and Alberto gay had been on the table, but it ultimately wasn’t his intention for the movie. Later, other Pixar insiders said that Giulia, the human friend of Luca and Alberto, was meant to be queer, but that idea was also scrapped.

Now, at long last, one of Luca’s top story artists has released sketches and plans for the gay version of Luca they’d imagined.

Kenna Jean Harris, the lead story artist for Luca and the writer-director of its short-film sequel Ciao, Alberto, took to their Instagram stories to share the romantic version of Luca that could have been.

“We’re busting out the big guns,” they wrote, accompanied by an illustration of a book titled, “Kenna’s Unsanctioned Fanart.” The next slides showed four illustrations of Luca and Alberto — known as “Luberto” to fans — in various romantic positions, including cuddling, hugging, and kissing under an umbrella.

“I had a whole sequence in mind of Luca and Alberto reuniting for four summers in a row, culminating in a kiss,” they wrote about that last image. “Oscar-worthy. 10/10.”

Harris’ timing couldn’t be better. Luca was originally released only on streaming due to the pandemic, but Pixar is releasing it in theaters in March. (Soul and Turning Red, which also got the streaming-only treatment, are coming back to theaters in January and February respectively.)

This time, fans can watch the film with Harris’ concept art in mind. Those fish really are gay. Good for them.

Luca returns to theaters on March 22 and is currently streaming on Disney+.

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Tags: Disney Luca Pixar
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