- “This is going to be the best summer ever! We'll ride down every road, see the world together, it'll be amazing!”
- ―Luca in the Luca teaser trailer
Luca Paguro is the titular protagonist of the 2021 Disney•Pixar animated feature film, Luca. He is a sea monster that is influenced by Alberto Scorfano to venture into the surface. Once he discovers his parents will send him to the deep, away from the surface, he and Alberto escape to the Italian town of Portorosso, and enter the Portorosso Cup so they can buy a Vespa and see the world together.
- Luca Paguro is a bright and inventive 12-year-old sea monster with endless curiosity – especially when it comes to the mysterious world above the sea. Although he's been warned his whole life that the human world is a dangerous place, he longs for something beyond his quiet farm life where he herds goatfish day after day. So when another sea monster with actual experience above the surface takes Luca under his fin, his eyes open up to a whole world of possibilities.
Luca starts out as a very timid and shy character. He is afraid of the surface, but is also very curious about it. He meets Alberto, who Luca thinks is a human diver, but turns out to be like a sea monster just like him. After Alberto introduces him to the surface, Luca attempts to confidently refuse staying there as he believes himself to be a "good kid." When he receives the opportunity to approach the surface shortly later on, his first reaction is reluctance to disobey his parents' orders and see Alberto again.
As the movie progresses, Luca is able to expand on his curiosities about human life and what was on the surface as Alberto shows him his collection of human items. Alberto is able to teach Luca to ignore his doubts and leave his comfort zone, which is how he gained his skills on a bicycle that he needed to compete in the Portorosso Cup. He credits Alberto with teaching him how to be crazy.
Luca was also a very kind-hearted individual who was willing to stand up towards anyone who threatened to harm his friends. Luca also held a strong desire to see the world above the surface, despite being forbidden by his parents in doing so. Luca was very intrigued in learning new things, which he enjoyed doing while spending time in Portorosso and growing super excited when he learns something new.
He starts bonding with Giulia when she tells him about astronomy and the universe, which makes Luca want to go to school with her. After deeply hurting Alberto, Luca attempts to make it up to him by winning the prize money for their Vespa. He was even willing to come to Alberto's rescue and expose himself as a sea monster when Ercole caught and attempted to kill Alberto when his sea monster identity was revealed during the Portorosso Cup.
By the end of the movie, Luca is much braver and wiser than the fearful, nervous version of him that existed early in the story.
In human form, Luca is slender with fair skin, rosy cheeks, brown eyes, and wavy, dark brown hair. He wears a teal striped ivory shirt, blue shorts, and is barefoot all the time.
In sea monster form, Luca has blue-green scales and blue "hair". His eyes are still brown, but they have yellow sclera and oval shaped pupils. He also has a long tail with blue caudal fins. Before Luca obtains his new outfits, he is seen wearing green pants made of seaweed.
He was first seen rounding up his fish (which are used as sheep) up and going around his neighborhood, and his neighbors are getting a bit annoyed, as they make it clear he’s done this before. As he is headed over to the little circle ranch, he sees “land monster” stuff around there and grows fascinated with them. He is then frightened by the appearance of a diver, but when he gets cornered, Luca realizes it is just a sea monster boy named Alberto Scorfano. He heads to the surface and becomes a human.
When Luca is asked for the ball, he kicks a ball. As a result, the ball hits Ercole’s Vespa. He met Giulia and trained for a bike race. When Alberto got jealous, Luca betrayed him. Luca felt remorseful and makes it up to him by winning the Vespa. He defeated Ercole, and went to school with Giulia.
- Luca is Pixar's fourth titular character, the others being Nemo, WALL-E, and Dory, as well as the third titular character to be a protagonist, the first two being WALL-E and Dory.
- The DisInsider initially reported that Portorosso was going to be Luca's surname, and possibly a reference to Porco Rosso.
- His actual surname, Paguro, is Italian for "hermit crab".
- Luca is based on Enrico Casarosa himself. He chose the name, Luca, over his own because he felt it would be easier for foreign countries to say that name rather than his own.
- Luca's design is loosely recycled from the character of Bambino from Casarosa's short film La Luna.
- Out of all the characters in the film, Luca has the largest eyes (proportional to his head) since he is so curious and eager to "take everything in."
- Luca has, in some ways, drawn comparisons to Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Both characters arguably suffer from boredom from living under the sea and find happiness when they come to the surface, where they have to hide their oceanic origin. The major difference is that Ariel is motivated by love, having fallen in love with Prince Eric, while Luca's motivation is adventure and discovery.