In the year 2022, the word “luck” is a loaded term.
The past two years might have seemed like a whole lot of bad luck to most people. But for the team at SkyDance, that didn’t stop them from creating more magically animated worlds during the pandemic. This includes Luck, the first full-length feature animation from SkyDance headed by John Lasseter. Luck is the tale of Sam, the unluckiest girl in the world, on her journey to change her luck.
If you think you’ve had a bad past two years – try watching Luck. Sam’s story might make you feel better.
Luck: A Synopsis
Luck is a fully computer-animated, feature-length film with a fantasy plot. It takes place in the land of Luck, which is a kingdom dominated by two predictable forces – good luck and bad luck. Their kingdoms are so influenced by these two forces that the towns themselves are called Good Luck and Bad Luck. The citizens of the two kingdoms don’t always get along together, but a wrench thrown into the works could be what it takes to change that.
Sam (played by Eva Noblezada), the unluckiest woman in the world, is that wrench.
When Sam bypasses the head of security (played by Whoopi Goldberg) to meet with the CEO of Good Luck, The Dragon (played by Jane Fonda), they are determined to help her. The Dragon is the oldest person in the land and believes that good luck is the key to success. As the Dragon figures out that luck isn’t everything, she begins to mend some wounds between Good Luck and Bad Luck… as well as the issues that have been impacting Sam’s life.
If there’s one thing that animation studios like SkyDance Animation are good at, it’s making parables shiny and new through the lens of animation. In the case of Luck, this parable translation couldn’t have come at a better time. According to the movie, luck is what you make of it. And that’s just what SkyDance had to do (along with the rest of the world) in 2020.
SkyDance Studio Overcomes Some Bad Luck
Luck has been in the works for some years now over at SkyDance. Production started shortly after John Lasseter joined SkyDance in 2019 as the head of their animation team. Lasseter was one of the driving forces behind Pixar in the late 1980s and early 1990s, spearheading some of the most famous computer-animated classics, like Toy Story and Cars. It seemed only natural that his addition to the SkyDance Animation team would be good luck for the Luck crew. Unfortunately, a global pandemic had other plans.
The movie started strong, with a robust production team and substantial funding in 2017. Although it was initially part of a multi-year deal with Ilion Animation Studios and Paramount Pictures, it was then picked up by AppleTV + alongside Spellbound and the animated short Blush. SkyDance picked up John Lasseter shortly thereafter and was set to be released in the fall of 2021. However, when Covid-19 hit, it put a few kinks in the movie’s release.
SkyDance Animation’s handling of Luck was revolutionary. Being faced with never-before-seen issues, the team had to think on their feet to get back on track with their animation schedule and voice recording. Thanks to technological advances, animators could do a lot of this from home, which meant that the original release date was only set back by half a year. With the progress the team is seeing, Luck could likely be out within the early months of 2022. Currently, it is scheduled to be released before the end of February.
As well as several talented animators housed by SkyDance studio, Luck’s production is headed by John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and David Eisenmann. But the production team is only the start of it – Luck is packed with an all-star cast appealing to a swath of different ages.
Luck’s All-Star Cast
An excellent animated feature film has at least one recognizable voice that hooks the viewer and helps them relate to the story. Luck went above and beyond, capturing some of the biggest voice-acting stars of today as well as some of the most classic actors of all time. All the while, they leveled the playing field by hosting some new voices in the animation world.
- Jane Fonda stars as The CEO of Good Luck, The Dragon. The Dragon holds to Jane Fonda’s personality as a go-getter with a lot of grit. She’s a giant, jewelry-clad pink dragon with a little bit of makeup and many opinions. As the oldest living member of Good Luck, she is the kingdom’s luckiest inhabitant. Because of this, she works to guide her kingdom in their pursuit of luckiness. Eventually, this includes Sam. Jane Fonda has been acting since 1960, and one of her most famous roles was in the classic movie 9 to 5, starring Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin.
- Whoopi Goldberg is The Captain, the head of security of Good Luck. The Captain is a no-nonsense type who’s gruff and gritty (but obviously with a bit of heart). This is true to the EGOT winner’s previous roles – from Sister Mary Clarence in Sister Act to Oda Mae Brown in Ghost.
- Eva Noblezada Plays Sam, the unluckiest person in the world. Sam heads to Good Luck to speak with The Dragon hoping that she can help her turn her luck around. Relatively new to the film scene, Eva Noblezada made her film debut in Yellow Rose
- Simon Pegg is Bob from Good Luck, who is changing the narrative about black cats being bad luck. He’s one of Sam’s most prominent allies in her journey, helping her find a lucky penny on her journey. Simon Pegg has been acting in comedy for over two decades and made his breakout in the United States as the lead in Shaun of the Dead.
- Flula Borg stays true to his silly nature in Luck by voicing Jeff the Unicorn. Jeff is the head engineer in charge of distributing good luck and bad luck to humans and is in love with The CEO of Good Luck. Borg is known for the Pitch Perfect series and Javelin in The Suicide Squad.
- Lil Rel Howery is Sam’s encouragement in her unlucky life back on earth. At her job at Flowers and More, Marv believes in Sam even when no one else does. Lil Rel Howery is known for Judas and the Black Messiah, among other movies.
- Colin O’Donoghue plays Gerry the leprechaun, one of the workers in arrivals and departures in the Land of Luck. Luck breaks O’Donoghue’s streak of horror-adjacent movie acting, including his debut in the 2011 movie The Rite and the animated Troll Hunter series.
- John Ratzenberger nods to Lasseter’s Pixar connections by playing Rootie, a bad luck root and the mayor of Bad Luck. Ratzenberger has been in every Pixar movie to date, playing Hamm in Toy Story, the school of fish in Finding Nemo, and the Yeti in Monsters Inc, among other roles. His shortest speaking role in a Pixar film was in Coco, where he had a single-word line.
Luck has the recipe for a successful feature-length animated film: award-winning animators, talented voice actors, and an innovative streaming platform. Viewers will have to wait a few weeks until the movie itself is released to see whether the movie made it through the bad luck of the past few years!