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Luck (2022). Luck: Directed by Peggy Holmes. With Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg. The curtain is pulled back on the millennia-old battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affects everyday lives.

“Greetings again from the darkness. u0026quot;Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long youu0026#39;ll have good luck.u0026quot; Thatu0026#39;s how the old saying goes, and it plays a prominent part in this first animated feature film from Skydance Animation. Directed by former Disney animation choreographer Peggy Holmes, and co-written by Kiel Murray (CARS, 2006) and writing partners Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, who teamed on the u0026quot;Kung Fu Pandau0026quot; franchise (as well as other projects), the filmu0026#39;s approach shifted when Skydance hired John Lasseter as head of animation. You may know Mr. Lasseter as the creative force behind Pixar and such groundbreaking films as TOY STORY (1995), but heu0026#39;s also the guy that faced multiple accusations of workplace sexual impropriety and left Disney Pixar in late 2017. His Skydance hiring brought a change of director to the project, and was the reason Oscar winner Emma Thompson recused herself, replaced by Oscar winner Jane Fonda, who evidently had no such qualms about working for Lasseter.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSam Greenfield (voiced by Eva Noblezada) is a klutzy 18-year-old who has u0026#39;aged outu0026#39; of the foster home where she has lived. Never experiencing a u0026#39;forever familyu0026#39;, Sam has maintained a positive outlook on life, despite what she sees as a never-ending streak of mishaps, accidents, unfortunate coincidences, and overall bad luck. Sheu0026#39;s been very supportive of her younger friend Hazel (Adalyn Spoon), who holds out hope for adoption and is a collector of good luck charms … missing only a lucky penny. While bumbling through her first days as an independent woman, Sam finds a lucky penny, only to have bad luck strike (in the form of an automatic toilet) before she can deliver it to Hazel. And soon, Sam is chatting up a talking black cat (Simon Pegg) before they both enter a portal that whisks them to the Land of Luck.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIt might seem odd that a black cat brough Sam her first taste of good luck, but as the story develops, so does their friendship. The Land of Luck is run by a dragon (Jane Fonda), and itu0026#39;s her Captain (Whoopi Goldberg) that has it out for Bob … and the shenanigans that Sam brings to this new world certainly donu0026#39;t help. The Land of Luck consists of leprechauns and four-leaf clovers, rabbits (none missing a foot), and pigs (never knew they were considered lucky). Down below the Land of Luck is the land of Bad Luck, and itu0026#39;s Jeff the Unicorn (a terrific Flula Borg) who is charged with keeping the u0026#39;rightu0026#39; mixture of good luck and bad that gets sent to the land of humans. Yes, itu0026#39;s all a bit convoluted, but what the movie gets right are the colorful visuals and the fun characters. Sam, Bob, the Dragon, and Jeff are all memorable in their own way.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIt seems pretty clear that John Lasseteru0026#39;s fingerprints are on the final film, as influences from INSIDE OUT and SOUL are quite evident … although those films are far superior. Where this one falls short is in memorable and pointed storytelling, always a strength of Pixar. We are left a bit befuddled on the takeaway message. Are our lives determined by a mixture of good and bad luck? What about making our own luck and forging our own path? Taking responsibility for our own actions and building our own network of friends and acquaintances seems every bit as important as whether the toast lands jelly-side up or down. Despite all that, itu0026#39;s a pretty solid first animated feature from a studio likely to continue to improve as more projects are released – assuming they have the best of luck!u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn select theaters and on AppleTV+ on August 5, 2022.”


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