Skydance Animation released its very first feature animated film “Luck” on Aug. 10. The story follows Sam Greenfield (Eva Noblezada), a freshly turned 18-year-old girl who has aged out of the foster care system. This means she has to say her goodbyes to her roommate, friend, and fellow orphan Hazel (Adelynn Spoon); move into her own apartment; and start a new job. Sam does all of those things, but mostly, she wants to help Hazel, who is constantly collecting “luck,” like a paper crane and a Japanese waving cat, in a box. Sam thinks if she can find a lucky penny to complete Hazel’s collection, then she would find Hazel a permanent family. Unfortunately for Sam, she is the “unluckiest person she knows” and everything that could go wrong in her life, does. However, she is full of optimism and life, as she is voiced by Eva Noblezada, who is often seen on Broadway, including Miss Saigon and Hadestown. 

When Sam shares her sandwich and woes with a mysterious black cat named Bob (Simon Pegg), she finds a lucky penny that she intends to give to Hazel. For once in her life, everything goes right, but not for long. During her shift at a local shop, she accidentally flushes the penny down the toilet (I know, right?) and with it, all of her good luck. 

Sam discovers that Bob the cat can talk, and that the penny she found was never supposed to be hers as it accidentally fell off of Bob’s collar. She chases him into a portal to the Land of Luck — where no humans are allowed. The Land of Luck is a magical manufacturing place where mythical creatures like loyal leprechauns and unicorns carefully distribute good luck and bad luck. Bob and Sam embark on a journey of good luck and bad luck after making a deal to find the penny so Hazel can find a family and Bob can return to his normal life.

With some awesome supporting characters like The Dragon, CEO of Luck Land, voiced by Jane Fonda; and adorable rabbits, the film is one whimsical adventure for all ages. Not only does the film incorporate positive messages about dealing with negativity in life and being resilient, but it is one of the first animated productions to focus on the foster care system and do so with such care. Director Peggy Holmes shared how she came up with the story: “I looked at the materials that existed and was attracted to the premise of this girl growing up in foster care and aging out, and the presence of a leprechaun.” She later told IndieWire that she wanted to tell an emotional story but build a world off of the leprechaun and have the girl find a family, which she does, but how and who is something you have to find out by watching. 

While some reviews harp on overeager pacing or leave you with more questions than answers, the heart of the story is about family, resilience, and compassion. 

And maybe you’ll like it — after all luck is what you make it!

Bob: The talking cat Bob is voiced by “Mission Impossible” star Simon Pegg.