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No such ‘Luck’: First film from John Lasseter’s new studio lacks charm

Michael O’Sullivan

THE WASHINGTON POST – Luck, the debut feature from Skydance Animation (whose parent company, Skydance Media, has a proven track record of putting out such live-action blockbusters as Top Gun: Maverick), could use a little good fortune.

Directed by Peggy Holmes, who helmed the direct-to-video title The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning for the now-defunct Disneytoons under John Lasseter, it’s also the first project for Lasseter since the Toy Story director turned studio boss took Skydance’s reins, amid controversy. Lasseter stepped down from running Pixar and Walt Disney Animation in 2018, after publicly admitting to “missteps” in the wake of accusations that he had engaged in unwanted physical contact and commented on employees’ physical appearance.

Emma Thompson, who had been attached to work on Luck, dropped out over objections to working with Lasseter.

Set in the titular extraterrestrial dimension in which good luck and misfortune are manufactured and dispensed to humans randomly in a magical, factory-like setting by leprechauns, rabbits and other creatures associated with prosperity, the new movie conforms broadly to the underlying structure of such Pixar hits as Inside Out and Soul, in which human emotion and the human spirit, respectively, were personified. In other words, Luck takes things that are intangible – in this case, random felicity and affliction – and imagines them as palpable.

It doesn’t quite work.

Luck’s protagonist, Sam (voice of Eva Noblezada), is a young-adult orphan who, as the film gets underway, is ageing out of foster care after failing to find her “forever family.”

Chronically unlucky, she leaves behind a small orphaned friend, Hazel (Adelynn Spoon), who Sam hopes will have better, er, luck than she did.

Bob (voice of Simon Pegg), left, and Sam (Eva Noblezada) in ‘Luck’. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST
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