Pixar hopes to make magic with Onward, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Pixar hopes to make magic with Onward

Movie about a quest, family and loss is studio's first original feature since 2017

BERLIN: Pixar's new film Onward hits screens here on March 5 with the much-loved animation company hoping that it will restore a little glitter to a brand that has dulled in recent years.

It is its first original animated feature since Coco in 2017 and is closer to the world of Harry Potter than Toy Story.

Pixar certainly has high hopes for Onward.

The success of Toy Story 4 at this year's Oscars meant the animation studio had racked up 10 Academy Awards for best animated feature since the category was created in 2001.

However, it has also come under fire for the fact that four of its last five films - Toy Story 4, The Incredibles 2, Cars 3 and Finding Dory - have been sequels.

In Onward, two teenage elf brothers - Ian and Barley Lightfoot, voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt - have 24 hours to reconnect with their father who died many years ago, before Ian, the younger of the two, was even born.

It is a buddy movie that opens up fraternal relations as well as the father-son relation.

But things do not quite go as planned, as one might expect in a Pixar quest movie, and the pair stumble through a suburban fantasy universe with magic wands, spells, dragons and unicorns.

In some respects it unfurls like a video game, a world unfamiliar to director Dan Scanlon, who previously teamed up with Onward producer Kori Dae on the 2013 film Monsters University.

"I didn't know very much about that but luckily we are working with Pixar and they brought their love of these games, and they taught us a lot," Scanlon said.

The story came from Scanlon, whose father died in a car crash when he was a child.

"After Monsters University, we wanted to make something more personal, from an honest place," he said.

"I told Kori about my own experience, having lost my father when I was a one-year-old and my brother only three.

"We had so many questions about what he was like and how we were like him. We did not remember him at all.

"That becomes kind of the seed of the story."

Scanlon added with a laugh: “It’s totally therapy that I can’t believe Pixar paid for.

“It’s so indicative of Pixar to want to do something so small and real and true. I can’t think of anywhere else where we could have done something like this and been as supported as we were the whole time."

Scanlon took his brother to see a preview of the film, and emotions ran high afterwards.

“He gave me the longest hug of his life, and my life. We’re Midwestern guys, so there weren’t a lot of tears shed right away, but in our own weird punch-on-the-shoulder way, it was pretty special and wonderful,” Scanlon said.

Pratt said: “I’ve kind of always wanted to be a bit of a bigger brother. I never had an opportunity. I was always the youngest.”

Holland, who is the oldest son in his family, said it was “actually really nice to be the younger one for a change”. - AFP/REUTERS