First Look at Disney & Pixar's ONWARD

Disney and Pixar’s Onward will mark the studio’s first non-sequel release in nearly three years and is one of the reasons this may have just shot to the top of my most anticipated list for 2020. I know, I know-I won’t get too excited given the spring release date immediately marking this as something of a second-tier release, but Zootopia had the same vibe and that film turned out, well...fantastic. Directed and written by Monsters University’s Dan Scanlon, the film is set in a suburban fantasy world where two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic in their world. And “their world” is the emphasis here as the this first look teaser, more than anything else, sets up what could be an immersive new environment as Scanlon has combined the tropes of the fantasy genre with that of the pure, yet completely cloaked truth that sits within suburbia. The creativity we tend to take for granted now or at least have come to expect nothing less than with Pixar is on full display here whether it be in the mer-people lounging in their Dollar General pools, garden gnomes actually doing some gardening, or those beautiful, mythical creatures we refer to as unicorns scavenging through trash the acclimation of this fantasy world into something more resembling our own is pretty fantastic. It's also inspiring that Scanlon seems to essentially have been given full creative control from top to bottom on this as he is the sole screenwriter credited as well. This may not seem like a big deal, but animated films and especially ones with Disney involved often have a team of writers weaving together the narrative as the film enters different stages of production. While Disney and Pixar know how to make an animated film that works, there is no disputing that, it will be somewhat refreshing to have an experience that seemingly comes from a single, hopefully clear perspective. Scanlon, who has said this story was inspired by his relationship with his own brother, has enlisted the help of current MCU stars Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Chris Pratt (Star Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) to voice the two brothers, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus will provide the voice of their mother. Octavia Spencer also stars with Onward set to open on March 6th, 2020.

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