Fisherman Massimo Marcovaldo from Luca, Pixar’s new film, was born without a limb. The movie’s creators did not want Massimo’s story to be centered around his disability. The community is applauding Pixar’s efforts to challenge and go beyond old tragic tropes.
Behind the Character’s Success
The success of this portrayal resulted from consulting the disability rights activist and filmmaker Jim LeBrecht, co-director of the recently Oscar-nominated “Crip Camp.” After thoughtful discussions, they decided together to have Massimo’s character be born with a limb difference, which he would handle deftly throughout his life.
As the producer of the film pointed out, “there’s a fine line between organic representation and forced tokenization.” Since Massimo’s character comes close to a realistic representation of a person who has a disability, he is relatable to many.