Posted Aug 04, 2021
You know a movie's good when your kids walk away from it with a mantra they've been using all summer to inspire them to try new things and embrace adventure. That was exactly our experience with Disney and Pixar's Luca
, which is now available to own on Blu-ray and new on Digital
Set in a charming town on the Italian Riviera, the movie follows a young boy named Luca and his newfound best friends as they enjoy an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and lots of scooter rides. But all the fun is put at risk by a deep-rooted secret: Luca is really a sea monster from another world, located under the waters outside the seaside town.
Like many Disney and Pixar classics, it's a true coming-of-age story that resonates well with all ages—parents and kids, alike. I won't give away what exactly unfolds in the movie, but let me tell you more about that catchphrase my kids turned into a mantra, and why it made Luca
a winner for me and my husband as well.
You're probably saying, "Huh?! Who is this Bruno and why are you telling him to be quiet?!" (The literal translation of the Italian word silenzio is silence). Let me explain. Luca and his bud Alberto are obsessed (I mean, obsessed) with Vespas, the iconic motorized scooters you see zipping around Italy. The boys craft their own homemade Vespa in desperation to have one of these prized-possessions as their own.
Just as the pair are about to ride the cobbled-together scooter off a cliff, Alberto yells, "Silenzio, Bruno!" to calm Luca's nerves. Alberto assures Luca that he shouldn't listen to the "Bruno in his head," take a leap of faith, and just go for it. Sure enough, a fun ride ensues and Luca ends up feeling exhilarated that he ignored his inner-Bruno and conquered his fears.
It’s a fun scene and a goofy line, but it really sticks with you! After the first time we finished Luca
, my kids were yelling "Silenzio, Bruno!" non-stop, just to be silly (and downright obnoxious to their parents!). But then it opened up an opportunity for our family to have an age-appropriate discussion about anxiety in general, and trying new things, which can often be worrisome and difficult for children to embrace.
In fact, both my kids were starting a new summer camp the next day. Aside from the normal camp jitters, like meeting new friends, this camp required a swim test to be able to swim without a life vest, and included a camp field trip to the National Zoo, over an hour away from our home. My son Remy, age 6, is a new swimmer and was really worried he'd be the "odd one out" if he didn't pass the test. My daughter Macy, age 10, was excited for the zoo trip but in true older sister fashion, couldn't stop thinking ahead to the What Ifs... What if Remy gets car sick on the way there? What if we get separated from each other?
In a moment of mom brilliance, I looked at them both square in the face and yelled, "Silenzio, Bruno!" Besides getting them to laugh, it quickly de-escalated their budding worries and transformed the conversation into something they could relate to—Luca's nail biter of a scooter ride.
With Remy being a little younger, my husband and I explained to him that there is sometimes that little voice in your head telling you that you can't do it, and that's Bruno. So anytime Bruno is giving you a hard time and you need to feel brave, shout it out: "Silenzio, Bruno!" Then ensued the kids running around the house yelling it over and over, which was again obnoxious, but also a sign our message had sunk in.
Sure enough, Macy and Remy headed to camp the next day happy as can be and ready to take on their new adventures. I am proud to announce that Remy passed the swim test, did not throw up in the camp van, and the two of them never got separated at the zoo (because they weren't in the same group in the first place, but whatevs ...). Mom and dad also dropped them off at camp with a little less worry than they usually do. Score 1 - Us, Bruno - 0.
Now the catchphrase has practically become an every day part of our summer, making it one of our most memorable yet. The kids are trying new things and most importantly, feeling okay about it if they didn't love it, or it didn't turn out exactly as they had hoped. First time river tubing? Silenzio, Bruno! First time down the pool water slide? Silenzio, Bruno!
Auditioning for a lead role in the camp play? Silenzio, Bruno! Chopping off your long hair into a cropped bob? Silenzio, Bruno!
And in a true full-circle parenting moment, my kids are now even reminding my husband and I to tell our inner Brunos to take a hike. When talking about our upcoming beach vacation, we recently discussed having a "Yes Day." You know, those days where the parents say yes to everything the kids want to do. I started putting all of these parameters around the "Yes Day" because What If this and What If that ... Macy looked at me and without her saying a word, I knew what her message would be. Silenzio, Bruno!
Besides the teachable moments that Luca
has brought us this summer, I highly recommend watching it when you're looking for an all-around light-hearted movie the whole family will enjoy. From the colorful animation to the endearing characters, Luca
is the perfect movie to enjoy together this summer and long into the future. Now that it is available on Blu-ray or Digital
, I know our family will be adding it to our collection to remember Summer 2021—The Summer of "Silenzio, Bruno!"
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