Luck, the first feature from Skydance Animation and Apple Original Films, has a lot on its plate. The fantasy comedy's August 5 premiere on Apple TV+ not only signals a new animation player, but also the first new feature by John Lasseter following his departure from Pixar and Disney amid allegations of misconduct.
Before Lasseter came aboard as the head of Skydance Animation, he wanted to take a different direction. Peggy Holmes, a screenwriter for Cars and Cars 3, jumped at the opportunity to direct the film.
Holmes told IndieWire that she was interested in the idea of this girl growing up in foster care and dying out, and the presence of a leprechaun. What if we take this idea of a leprechaun and blow it up to a whole world? So that's what I asked.
Holmes and Murray descended deeply into the foster system and the mythology of luck throughout the world. We were struck by their generosity, their optimism, and their perseverance. It became our beacon.
Original Films from Apple
Along with some surprising reversals, Holmes explained that black cats are considered good luck in Scotland, so they created Sam's lucky Scottish black cat, Bob, who becomes Sam's accomplice in obtaining a lucky penny in the magical land. Factually, humans would not choose chance if they were given the [chance].
The catalyst became the lucky penny after sharing all of their research on luck with production designer Fred Warter, a Disney vet who worked with Holmes on Secret of the Wings. The first shot he created for the film was two worlds sitting on opposite sides of the coin, according to the author. Everything else in the theme park-inspired worlds of Good Luck and Bad Luck
Holmes, a former dancer and choreographer, leaned heavily on physical comedy from the start in order to illustrate the strange nature of Sams bad luck. She said Lasseter was instrumental in plussing story and animation.
Apple Original Films
So, you call him to a Zoom meeting to pitch sequences, and John is able to really watch it as an audience member, even though he knows where he'll be going with the story, Holmes said. And he always comes up with little ideas to make it better or funnier. In fact, John and David Ellison both came up with the idea of a bunny drone returning to the human world to try and retrieve the lucky penny.
Luck's workflow was divided between three locations: L.A., Madrid (the hub) and Connecticut (a group of former Blue Sky artists). Madrid had different software, which added strain to the animation teams, according to Holmes. That pipeline has been improved on subsequent films because we were the first ones to discover all the things that weren't working.
Emma Thompson was hired to voice a character in Luck when Carloni was hired to direct, but she left the project in protest of Lasseters' hiring, revealing her decision in a letter to Skydance CEO David Ellison. Pegg, Whoopi Goldberg, Flula Borg, Lil Rel Howery, long-time Pixar good luck charm John Ratzenberger, and Jane Fonda all played a significant role in her character, the six-legged, wingless dragon Babe.
Apple Original Films
The actress and activist brought [Fonda] in early on and asked the story artists to pitch the sequences wherever we were at the time, so that she could see what we were doing and how we iterate on story in animation, according to Holmes. Jane came up with several ideas in that meeting that were so great for her character.
When Fonda saw how long Babe's tail was in the drawings, Holmes suggested wrapping it around her body like a boa, giving the Land of Lucks leader a majestic persona. We wanted her to be in awe of Babe for the first time, and we wanted the dragon to not pay attention. That was Janes moment.