If there’s one thing I really enjoy – it’s all things Italian. Gelato, pasta, villages by the sea, oh and did I mention gelato! My favorite place to visit when I lived in Germany was Cinque Terre, the five coastal villages hugging the cliffs on the north western coast of Italy. This is a picture I took in the little harbor at Vernazza, one of the villages.
Normally I don’t watch movies when flying because there’s usually nothing worthwhile to watch. And while I’m skeptical of Disney movies in general, on this particular flight I thought I’d give the movie Luca a test run before deciding if my boys should see it. It looked so inviting – with the Italian coastal theme. What I found was intriguing.
The description on the Disney website says:
“Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film “Luca” is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, Alberto, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface.”
Sea Monsters from Another World
Now before we go any further, let’s review what Revelation has to say about two “monsters” or beasts. We’ll also review some basic guidance from the Bible.
Two beasts appear in Revelation chapter 13. One rises out of the sea and one comes up out of the earth. These beasts deceive people – in other words they lie. The beast from the sea is blasphemous – that means he tries to take the place of God, the good shepherd. The two beasts work together to trick people to worship the beast out of the sea instead of the true God of heaven.
Just one chapter before this we learn that Satan (the dragon) makes war with God’s commandment keeping people (Rev. 12:17). What better way to make people break God’s commandments than by making those commandments seem, well… so old-fashioned and boring.
Keep in mind these two commandments that God has given us:
Honor your father and mother. – the Bible explains that this means to obey your parents.Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1-3
Do not bear false witness against your neighbor. – in other words, do not lie.Exodus 20:16, Psalm 120:2, Colossians 3:9
Do you know your Bible? Let’s Play a Game!
Now that you know a little about what the Bible says, see if anything shows up in the movie Luca that seems a little fishy! What do I mean?
- Is it so similar to something in the Bible that it’s probably not a coincidence? Think counterfeit…
- Does it make ‘good look bad’ and ‘bad look good’?
- What kind of messages are being promoted? Do they match what Jesus teaches?
Note: You DO NOT need to see the movie LUCA to play this game! 🙂 You can download this quiz and the answer key at the link at the bottom of the page.
LUCA Movie Trivia and the Bible Game
Try to answer the questions after each bit of Luca movie trivia
- Luca is a sea monster who comes out of the sea to an Italian seaside town.
Q: Does Revelation mention a beast coming out of the sea?
- Luca is a shepherd of… fish. He holds a shepherd’s staff.
Q: Who is the true good shepherd? Bonus question: Who is a counterfeit shepherd, described as the sea beast in Revelation, chapter 13? (He also carries a shepherd’s staff).
- Luca’s friend Alberto is a sea monster too, but he lives on the land.
Q: Does Revelation mention a beast that comes up out of the earth, that works with the sea beast?
- While on shore, Luca and Alberto are disguised as people. No-one knows they are really sea monsters.
Q: Do the beasts of Revelation 13 use deception?
- Alberto convinces him to disobey his parents and visit the world above.
Q: What does the Bible say about disobeying parents?
- Grandma Pagura, Luca’s grandma, “knows that breaking a rule or two is part of growing up.”
Q: What rules does the Bible teach that Satan is angry about? Do God’s followers keep God’s rules?
- Luca and Alberto go fishing with Massimo (their friend Giulia’s father). They are not catching any fish. Then they tell him where to catch fish and they have an abundant catch.
Q: Does this remind you of any story in the Bible? Who told the disciples where to catch fish when they were having no luck? (Hint – look up Luke 5:1-11)
- Luca and Alberto are in a race for a prize.
Q: Are we in a race for a prize? Hint – look up Hebrews 12:1.
- The town is called Portorosso (Red port) and the race is called the Portorosso Cup (the red cup).
Q: In Revelation chapter 17, a wicked woman sits on a scarlet (red) beast and has a cup full of abominations (wicked things). She is drunk on the blood of saints and martyrs (Jesus’ followers). Why would the town and the race be called the Red port and the Red cup? Do you find this odd?
- Their enemy and race competitor is Ercole, an arrogant and rude boy.
Q: How does the world often portray God? What is God really like? Hint: Read Romans 8:39, Ephesians 2:4
- Luca’s mother is portrayed as uninformed and strict. She is keeping her son from experiencing the abundant life on the surface.
Q: Where do we find the real abundant life? Read John 10:10. Does this match what the world teaches?
- The sea monsters win the race and as the rain comes down, their true identities as sea monsters are revealed. Everyone excepts them as they are and celebrates.
Q: What does rain symbolize in the Bible? Read Deut. 32:2, Hosea 6:3, Hosea 10:12
Q: Does Satan want us to think that he and his representatives (the beasts of Revelation) are harmless and fun?
Jesus says he wants to make his disciples fishers of men – that is to bring as many as possible into his kingdom of love and give them the gift of eternal life. Satan also wants to fish for men (and boys and girls) and trap them in his deceptive nets. I want to follow the gentle shepherd, Jesus Christ, who is the truth, the way and the life. Which shepherd will you choose to follow?
Conclusion of the Matter
Luca = “bringer of light”
The name Luca, means “bringer of light”. Satan’s original name, Lucifer, also means “light-bringer”. The Bible says that “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light”. He can appear in a form that is very deceptive and appealing.
Deceptive and Anti-biblical Messages
This cute and entertaining movie has some subtle and not so subtle anti-biblical propaganda. With some interesting correlations to Bible prophecy using the themes of sea beasts (one in the sea and one on the land) that are hidden behind a deceptive veneer, the story promotes disobedience to parents, the idea that rules are sometimes meant to be broken and that parents are uninformed and old fashioned.
The antagonist of the little sea monsters is portrayed as rude and arrogant. The antagonist to the biblical sea beasts is Jesus Christ, creator of the universe. He is loving, kind, patient, fair, and just – the opposite of what is portrayed in the movie. The world has tried for thousands of years to portray God as rude, arrogant and vengeful. This common theme implants thoughts in young minds that the deceitful characters are really good and deserve our sympathy and those in opposition to them are evil. Could Satan really be misunderstood? Maybe God is not fair or loving after all? Maybe it’s okay to lie for a good cause. Maybe my parents don’t really know what is best for me?
Some may wonder if the writer of the script did this intentionally. I do not think so. The writer says the movie is a portrayal of friends and learning to accept the differences in others. Many of the ideas were taken from his childhood friendships and time he spent on the Italian riviera. But as Christians, we know that there is no neutral ground. We either serve Christ or we are servants of Satan. Matthew 6:24
The idea that we can live for ourselves and have our own ideas, thoughts and dreams and that we are not influenced either by God or by Satan is a false assumption. We are either led by the Holy Spirit or by the spirit of this world, which is from Satan. I do not fault the writer of this movie and do not think he had any ill intent. There are even many great principles portrayed, like friendship and love for those who are different than us. However, it is my prayer that many of the people in the movie industry will learn about Jesus and will have their eyes opened to the deceptive ways the devil works, even through those that have no idea of what is happening behind the scenes or how their minds are being used to promote the beast of Revelation’s agenda.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
Wise Words of Solomon and Paul
While I’m not going to tell you whether to let your kids watch the Luca movie, it’s worth noting the wise words of Solomon and the apostle Paul.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.Ecclesiastes 12:13
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables [a legendary story; a falsehood, lie]. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.2 Timothy 4:3-5
Who will you let “teach” your children? Will you fulfill your ministry to “train up a child in the way he should go” Prov 22:6. Be on your guard for the sneaky ways that Satan is using to influence and seduce our children to follow the inclinations of their own hearts instead of following their loving savior, Jesus.
For a more detailed chart of comparisons from the Luca movie click here
Do you have thoughts about the morals and messages in this movie or other Disney movies? Leave a comment below.