Enrico Casarosa going for Oscar gold with Pixar’s ‘La Luna’ [Video]

After years of working as a storyboard artist at the fabled Pixar Studios, Enrico Casarosa finally got to helm his own film — “La Luna” — which has been nominated at the Academy Awards as Best Animated Short. In a video interview with senior editors Rob Licuria and Chris Beachum, Casarosa admitted, “We’re so excited! To me, it just means the story is touching people, and people are relating to the story, and that makes me the happiest.”

The luxurious, pastel-colored animation centers around a young boy on a rowboat with his father and grandfather. It is his first journey with them on their job to sweep up the stars that light up the moon. Pixar founder John Lasseter approved the two-year project, which is based in part on the Italo Calvino story “The Distance of the Moon” as well as Casarosa’s own family in Genoa, Italy. Other inspirations included the Hayao Miyazaki film “Castle in the Sky,” the Osvaldo Cavandoli TV series “La Linea,” and the illuminations from Pixar’s “Luxo, Jr.”

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At seven minutes, “La Luna” is the longest theatrical short in the studio’s history. Of course, it is nowhere near the length, budget, or work load of the tentpole films produced by Pixar. Casarosa has toiled away on several of those including “Cars,” “Cars 2,” “Ratatouille,” and “Up.” He revealed, “You work so closely on a small team. Normally we have big, big teams on our movies, but on a short it’s a much smaller team, so the movie becomes this kind of puzzle of pieces that you see coming together.”

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