|Directed by||Peggy Holmes|
|Screenplay by||Kiel Murray|
|Edited by||William J. Caparella|
|Music by||John Debney|
|Distributed by||Apple TV+|
Luck is a 2022 computer-animated fantasy comedy film directed by Peggy Holmes, co-directed by Javier Abad, and written by Kiel Murray who co-wrote the story with Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, based on an original concept by Rebeca Carrasco, Juan De Dios and Julián Romero. Produced by Skydance Animation, the film features the voices of Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Flula Borg, Lil Rel Howery, Colin O'Donoghue, and John Ratzenberger.
Luck premiered in Madrid on August 2, 2022, and was released on Apple TV+ and in select theaters in the United States on August 5, 2022. The film received mixed reviews from critics with praise for the voice acting and animation, but criticism for the worldbuilding and plot.
Sam Greenfield is a clumsy, orphaned young woman whose life has been constantly plagued by misfortune and has recently been forced out from her foster home, much to the dismay of her younger friend Hazel, who is hoping to be adopted soon. One night, after sharing a panini with a black cat, she finds a penny she hopes to give to Hazel for her collection of other lucky items to help her get adopted. The next day, Sam notices that the penny has made her luck significantly improve. However, she soon loses the penny by inadvertently flushing it down a toilet.
As Sam bemoans her error, she encounters the cat again and tells him what happened, which causes the cat to berate her for losing the penny. Shocked, Sam follows the cat through a portal to the Land of Luck, where creatures like leprechauns create good luck for the people on Earth. The cat, named Bob, tells Sam he needs the penny for traveling purposes and that he will be banished if word gets out that he lost it. Bob and Sam make a deal to get another penny from the Penny depot for Hazel to use before returning it to Bob. Bob uses a button from Sam to pass off as a penny while she sneaks into the Land of Luck using clothes belonging to Bob's personal leprechaun, Gerry. Throughout the journey, Sam comes to learn how the good luck is managed by a dragon, and that bad luck is managed underneath the Land of Luck.
Following a disaster at the Penny depot which causes Gerry to learn about Sam's identity, Gerry uses a drone to retrieve the missing penny on Earth but the drone gets lost in the In-Between, a space between the Good and Bad Luck lands. Sam and Bob go to the In-Between, which is managed by a unicorn named Jeff. Jeff manages a machine called the Bad Luck Apparat that keeps bad luck specks from sticking which feeds the Randomizer, another machine that sends both good and bad luck into Earth. Jeff tells the pair he found the penny and has returned it to the depot. Not deterred, Sam decides to visit the dragon in hopes to get another penny. The dragon, named Babe, shares a moment with Sam by telling her how better things would be everyone had good luck before giving her a new penny. But Sam sacrifices her penny after Bob is caught for faking his travel penny to spare him from banishment.
Still wanting to help Hazel, Sam and Bob decide to temporarily shut down the Bad Luck Apparat to prevent bad luck from going to the Randomizer and give Hazel the luck she needs to get adopted. However, the bad luck specks start to clog Jeff's machines and destroy the good luck and bad luck stones within the Randomizer, which itself brings bad luck to the Land of Luck and Earth. Seeing Hazel did not get adopted because of this, Sam sulks in remorse. Bob tells Sam that Hazel is the luckiest girl for having Sam at her side. Sam realizes things can be fixed because she remembers seeing some good luck in Bad Luck land while on her way to the In-Between.
Back in Bad Luck, they find it in a tiki bar where the bartender, a root monster named Rootie, gives them a jar of good luck they have been using. They take it to Babe to forge new good and bad luck stones. However, while Babe creates a bad luck stone, she creates two good luck stones, wanting to create a world with only good luck. Before she can place them, Sam tells Babe people need bad luck as much as good luck. Realizing her mistake, she allows Sam to place the bad luck stone, and good luck is restored to normal, where Sam sees Hazel finally getting adopted. Bob is offered to keep his job at the Land of Luck, but decides he wants to live with Sam.
One year later back on Earth, Hazel's family spends time with Sam and Bob as Sam has finally accepted her bad luck.
In July 2017, Paramount Pictures (via Paramount Animation) and Skydance Media formed a multi-year partnership with Ilion Animation Studios, announcing its first animated feature film Luck, with a release date of March 19, 2021. Alessandro Carloni signed on to direct the film, from a script by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger based on an original concept by Rebeca Carrasco, Juan De Dios and Julián Romero. This was a project created at Ilion before Skydance brought the studio, the original story focuses on a spy tone with a bit of slapstick comedy and some drama. Skydance Animation hired former Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios CCO John Lasseter in late January 2019, as Head of Animation.
Following Lasseter's hiring, then-chief of Paramount Animation Mireille Soria announced that Paramount will no longer work with Skydance Animation. Luck and Spellbound were still going to be released by Paramount Pictures without the Paramount Animation brand until Apple TV+ acquired the distribution rights to both films in February 2021 as part of a larger pact with Skydance Animation. Apple Original Films would replace Paramount as a production company on the film, with Apple TV+ distributing. On January 14, 2020, Carloni was replaced by Peggy Holmes, who had previously directed Secret of the Wings (2012) and The Pirate Fairy (2014) for Lasseter, as the film's director. Kiel Murray, screenwriter for Cars (2006) and Cars 3 (2017), was also hired to rewrite the screenplay, turning it into a workplace fantasy comedy simliar to Monsters, Inc. through Abiel and Berger were still credited for the story co-written by Murray.
In April 2019, Emma Thompson was hired to voice a character in the film, but left the project after Lasseter was hired. In February 2021, Jane Fonda was cast as The Dragon, and in June, Whoopi Goldberg was cast as The Captain.
Animation was provided by Skydance Animation Madrid (formerly Ilion Animation Studios) and was also made in Los Angeles and Connecticut. Portions of production were done remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tanya Donelly and Mt. Joy were originally attached to compose the score for the film, while William J. Caparella served as lead editor.[better source needed] However, on November 15, 2021, it was announced that composer John Debney replaced them as composer. Noblezada did a cover of "Lucky Star" with additional vocals by Alana Da Fonseca, for the film's soundtrack by Milan Records.
Luck was released to Apple TV+ and in select theaters in the United States on August 5, 2022. The film was originally set to be released in theaters on March 19, 2021, but was delayed to February 18, 2022 before its current release date. On May 8, 2020, Skydance Animation president Holly Edwards revealed that the rough cut would have test screenings late in the summer of 2020. On December 16, 2020, Apple TV+ secured the distribution rights to the films Luck and Spellbound.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 49% of 92 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.30/10. The website's consensus reads, "Luck is inoffensive enough as an animated babysitter, but there are far more original—and entertaining—options for its target audience." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 48 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian rated the film two stars out of five, describing the script as "utterly zingless and contorted."