To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Luck is a computer-animated fantasy film directed by Peggy Holmes (Secret of the Wings) from a screenplay written by Kiel Murray (Green Thumb), Jonathan Robert Aibel, and Glenn Todd Berger (Trolls World Tour). Featuring Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Flula Borg, Lil Rel Howery, Colin O’Donoghue, and John Ratzenberger, Luck is the first animated project from Skydance Animation and the second animated original film for Apple TV+. The story follows Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest person in the world, who gets transported to the Land of Luck after meeting a talking black cat named Bob. The two form a temporary partnership so that Sam can find a lucky penny and hopefully turn her luck around.
At the Summerland Home for Girls, Sam Greenfield (Eva Noblezada) shoots a music video with her best friend and roommate Hazel (Adelynn Spoon). Soon the entire music set falls apart which Hazel blames on Sam’s bad luck. Before finishing the video, they go inside to look at Hazel’s collection of lucky items including an origami crane, German Glucksschwein, a Japanese beckoning cat, and a Swedish Dala horse hoping one of them will give Sam the luck she needs. The only thing missing from her collection is a lucky penny. Hazel wants all the luck she can get for her upcoming weekend visit.
Before they can return to their video a social worker enters the room to inform Sam that it is time to go as she is now 18 and can no longer live at the girls home. Sam wishes to stick around for a few more days to see Hazel off but is informed she can’t but can come back during visiting hours. On her way to her new apartment, she receives a box of her records which reveals she’s been in foster care since she was Hazel’s age and was never adopted.
We live in a golden age of quality animated films. Disney, Pixar, Illumination, and others continue to put out high-quality content each year in hopes of winning an Oscar. When an animated film takes home the coveted prize it adds more prestige to the studio’s name. With all the new streaming services vying for subscribers and content, the number of animated films has increased dramatically. Unfortunately, the quality is not always there, even when big-name directors, writers, and actors are attached to the project.
Luck is a prime example of a film having all the right components but not the synergy to have them fit together to make a great movie. Many people in the world can relate to being a foster kid or feeling like they have an unfortunate amount of bad luck, yet this film does not capitalize on those fully. This comes more into play during the second half of the story. We have a character with incredibly bad luck and the story never explains why her luck is worse than everyone else. It would make sense to touch on this topic a little especially when the character ends up in the Land of Luck where all luck, good and bad, is controlled.
The film also forces itself to have a villain at the end and even when it does, the villain’s plan actually makes a lot of sense. The plan could help not only the protagonist but the entire world. While children watching may not understand or care (I watched with my three-year-old and she didn’t) the adults watching may find this film unappealing and bland at times. The animation also feels dated as if it should have come out ten years ago. This isn’t a positive for the newly formed Skydance Animation and the company should work on improving its models and doing something to make itself stand out from the competition. With backing from Apple money shouldn’t be an issue.
Children’s movies thrive when they have content that parents can also enjoy i.e. Pixar or original music that can get stuck in your head i.e. Disney Animation. Luck has nothing going for it that will make it memorable during awards season. I give Luck a Solid 5/10. This film is not bad per se, but it is very forgettable. Apple TV+ should work on putting better-animated content on their streaming service if they want it to succeed.