Last year, at the D23 Expo 2017, Disney announced a previously untitled Pixar project that would be directed by Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) and produced by Kori Rae. At the time the film was described as a fantasy set in suburbia.
Now Disney and Pixar have titled their fantasy pic Onward. In addition to that, they have confirmed that the voice cast will include talents like Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Octavia Spencer, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. More on the report below.
Disney confirmed the title and castings via a press release that was made public earlier today, which mentioned how the film draws inspiration from Scanlon’s own life, making it a very personal movie to him:
When he was young, his father passed away. He saw photos and videos of him, but he and his younger brother never heard his voice until later on in their lives. When Scanlon was a teenager, he was sent a cassette tape by a family member featuring his father’s voice. All his father said on the recording was “bye,” but Scanlon said it felt like magic to him and his brother.
At the Expo, Scanlon said the film would be set in a modern-day world where magic used to be a part of life. However, because it was difficult to do, technology soon took its place. So now two brothers are about to embark on a quest to find out if magic still exists.
Of Pratt Rae said “Chris brings equal parts huge heart and fantastic humor to his character,” while Scanlon said of Holland “Tom has an infectious charm and sincerity that makes you root for him in every character he plays.”
But the two will not be alone. They will be joined by Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer and Emmy-winning actress Julia-Louis Dreyfus. “There is no one funnier than Julia,” said Scanlon, “but she also brings a warmth and loving side to her character.” Rae added, “Octavia can do it all. We’re especially excited about the depth as well as humor that she brings to her character.”
To get an idea of how a fantasy could exist in a modern world, Scanlon told D23 Expo attendees that the world is filled with elves, trolls, and sprites, which is something you would see on the side of a ’70s van. Here, unicorns are basically like rodents who run amuck and scurry across the streets.
Onward is slated to hit theaters on March 6, 2020.