Back at it again with a monthly favorites list! Since the pandemic, streaming has been a bit of a lifeline for me, and I’m constantly surprised by what is available. Most of my favorite content for June came from Disney+—Marvel is killing it with their limited series—but a surprise hit for me was Sony Animation’s charming Wish Dragon, which is available to stream on Netflix.
What were some of your favorite films, television shows, web series, or podcasts from June? Let me know what you’re looking forward to seeing in July!
Dir.: Kate Herron
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Sophia Di Martino, Sasha Lane & Tara Strong
Where to Watch: Disney+
After stealing the Tesseract during the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), an alternate version of Loki (Hiddleston) is brought to the mysterious Time Variance Authority (TVA), a bureaucratic organization that exists outside of time and space and monitors the timeline. They give Loki a choice: face being erased from existence due to being a "time-variant," or help fix the timeline and stop a greater threat. Loki ends up trapped in his own crime thriller, traveling through time and altering human history.
With only six episodes to work with, each episode of Loki packs a punch. Marvel fans, adventure seekers, and whodunnit conspiracy theorists will enjoy this series.
Wish Dragon (2021)
Dir.: Chris Appelhans
Cast: Jimmy Wong, John Cho, Constance Wu, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jimmy O. Yang, Aaron Yoo, Will Yun Lee & Ronny Chieng
Where to Watch: Netflix
Determined teen Din (Wong) is longing to reconnect with his childhood best friend, Li Na (Liu Bordizzo), when he meets a wish-granting dragon (Cho) who shows him the magic of possibilities.
While Wish Dragon doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel (if you've seen Disney's Aladdin, you have a pretty good idea of where this film is going), it's a charming film with great performances from Jimmy Wong and John Cho and gorgeous animation.
Dir.: Enrico Casarosa
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Marco Barricelli, Saverio Raimondo, Maya Rudolph & Jim Gaffigan
Where to Watch: Disney+
During the 1950s, in Portorosso, a seaside town on the Italian Riviera, a young boy named Luca (Tremblay) shares adventures with his new best friend Alberto (Grazer). But Luca and Alberto are hiding a secret: they are both sea monsters from a world below the water's surface.
With its sweet storyline and dreamy, Pixar-quality animation, Luca is one of those films that I'll watch again and again. And, while the filmmakers have stated that Luca is about platonic friendships rather than romance, the sea monster allegory and Luca and Alberto's fears of being outed speaks volumes: Luca can be interpreted as a queer film. It's not explicitly implied, but it's there. Young LQBTQ+ kids may see a bit of themselves in Luca's story, and I think that any representation—however small, whether Pixar wants to admit it or not—should be celebrated.