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Onward is an original Pixar film about a "suburban fantasy world" which was first announced at the 2017 D23 Expo. Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae; both of whom previously worked on Monsters University, the film will be released on March 6, 2020.[1]  The voice cast will include Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer.[2]


Set in a humanless world of elves, trolls, sprites, and “pretty much anything that would be on the side of a van in the ‘70s,” the movie follows two teenage brothers whose father died when they were young; now, they’re “on a quest through this mundane, modern fantasy world to somehow find a way to spend one last magical day with their father.”

Dan Scanlon also described more details about the “modern suburban fantasy world” the film inhabits. It’s a world where magic existed long ago, but because of difficulty and complication, people simply lost interest and instead created machines to do both the magic and the mundane. “The world is basically a mix of the fantastic and the everyday,” Scanlon explained as concept art showed slices of recognizable suburbia, albeit with goblins and creatures. “There are mushroom houses that line the streets with satellite dishes sticking out the top of them and a minivan parked in front of each one. There are no humans… but there are winged unicorns everywhere. They’re basically rodents, possums eating all the trash out of your bins.”

Voice cast


The film is inspired by the death of director Dan Scanlon's father, when he and his brother were younger, and their relationship. Scanlon decided to write the story after hearing an audio clip of his father.[5]

Director Dan Scanlon provided information regarding some of the voice cast selections[2]:

At Pixar we try to create stories that come from some kind of personal truth. This film was inspired by my own relationship with my brother.

According to the filmmakers, they’ve assembled a dream voice cast to help bring key characters to life.[2]

Tom has an infectious charm and sincerity that makes you root for him in every character he plays. There is no one funnier than Julia, but she also brings a warmth and loving side to her character.

Producer Kori Rae added[2]:

Chris brings equal parts huge heart and fantastic humor to his character. Octavia can do it all. We’re especially excited about the depth as well as humor that she brings to her character.

The first official poster and first look at the movie were released on May 30, 2019, with the first look airing during the NBA Finals.[6][7]

On October 10, 2019, a new trailer for the movie was released.




  1. Pixar announces new original ‘suburban fantasy’ movie
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Pixar’s Next Film Will Officially Be Titled, ‘Onward’ - More Details about the Vocal Cast Announced, Pixar Post, December 12, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Breaking: First Look at Characters Ian and Barley Lightfoot from Pixar's Suburban Fantasy Film, 'Onward' (In Theaters March 6, 2020), May 29, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 See Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Tom Holland as Elves in Disney-Pixar's Onward: First Look!, May 29, 2019.
  5. Pixar's New 'Suburban Fantasy' Sounds Like A Real Tearjerker, July 17, 2017.
  6. Pixar on Twitter: "Reply to this Tweet and conjure the correct spell to uncover exclusive wisdom. Your clues: Wizard. Unicorn. Mermaid. #PixarOnward…"
  7. Pixar on Twitter: "Get your first look at Disney and Pixar's Onward tonight during the NBA Finals. #PixarOnward…"
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