Hollywood has been accused in recent years for it’s lack of originality. Disney may have heard that and taken it to heart. While they continue the barrage of classic animation being remade into live-action films; such as the new Lady and the Tramp. They may have plucked a creative diamond in the rough with Pixar’s upcoming animated film, Onward.

Disney Pixar's Onward poster
Disney Pixar’s Onward poster

Onward tells the story of two elven brothers that are polar opposites. Ian, voiced by Spider-Man’s Tom Holland, is an introvert teenage elf. Barley, voiced by Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Chris Pratt, is anything but an introvert. He’s also into the old-world theory of magic, something he and his brother do not have in common. One thing they do share, however, is missing their father. He passed away before they got to know him.

The world they live in is a modernized fantasy world, much like what was shown in Netflix’s breakout original Bright, starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. In the preview for Onward, it was comical to see unicorns rooting through the trash cans. Quite different than what we fantasize unicorns to be like.

Poor unicorns...
Poor unicorns…

What was learned about Onward at D23

At D23 this week, we were treated to an extended clip from the film showing their mother, voiced by Julia-Louise Dreyfuss, giving the boys a gift from their father prior to his death. They open it to discover a wizard staff and an extremely rare gem, which is bizarre, since he was thought to be a simple accountant.

Ian and Barley, Disney Pixar's Onward
Ian and Barley, Disney Pixar’s Onward

Through some short-but-happy accidents, they discover there was more to their dad than they ever knew. They are then led on a quest to find him in a short 24-hour limit. Barley is all about it, while Ian is still a little timid. Their quest takes them all over to find a new Phoenix Gem from the Manticore.

Dangerous? Yes.

Perilous? Absolutely.

However, that doesn’t stop our heroes. They go ever… Onward!

Onward: The Cast

The announced cast of Onward
The announced cast of Onward

Tom Holland and Chris Pratt are two of the bigger names in film right now, both finding wild success with their respective Marvel properties. They were both on hand at D23 at the Disney to show fans the newest footage. Holland, who portrays Ian, is coming off a great run in Spider-Man. He has quickly become a MCU fan-favorite in the role, and was just as quickly taken out of it with the Disney-Sony dust up. At D23, he was appreciative of the supporting Marvel fanbase, telling everyone he “loves them 3000.”

Pratt, voicing his brother Barley, also comes off of success as Star Lord/Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy and other big-budget films. Ironically, Onward mirrors Quill’s story somewhat. Quill also searched for his father, finding him to be a magical being, too, in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. Pratt has an amazing knack of adding a little Andy Dwyer to all his roles. A youthful, misguided exuberance we all wish we had.

What makes this film special?

Ian and Barley on the road. Disney Pixar's Onward
Ian and Barley on the road. Disney Pixar’s Onward

Stories told from the heart are always the best. Onward‘s tale is based on Director Dan Scanlon’s own experience losing his father at a young age. Anyone who has lost a loved one can relate, and anyone who has siblings can likely understand the brothers’ plight. Arguably, that is something that has been missing from Hollywood lately. Everything doesn’t have to blow up for a film to be good. Sometimes it needs other qualities, too.

Such as heart.



Creativity, and a hope against hope to see a family member one last time.

Pixar’s Onward, Official Trailer

We won’t have to wait long. Onward debuts in theaters everywhere on March 6th, 2020. Source: D23