D23 Expo: Chris Pratt and Tom Holland search for magic in ‘Onward’

Onward logo

Onward is the kind of Pixar film that the animation studio thrives on. It’s a weird and abstract idea but they always seem to find a way to make it work. Onward sees fantastical fantasy creatures as if they were living in the real world. Other than that, we don’t know anything else about the film… Until now.

During the studio presentation at D23 Expo, Pixar gave fans an extended look at the film. The film stars Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as Ian and Barley Lightfoot, respectively. Ian is shy and docile while Barley is loud and full of confidence. They’re complete total opposites. But Barley is the type of person that lives for the idea that magic still exists in this world. He believes in magic so much that he calls his van, Guinevere.

But Ian and Barley aren’t alone. We learn that Ian father died before he was born, so their mother, Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), raised them both on her own. When Ian is having a bad day on his 16th birthday, Laurel decides to surprise him with a gift from their father. She tells them that she shouldn’t give them this gift until Ian is 16-years-old.

Onward - Ian and Barley Lightfoot

They discover that their father left them with a staff and a phoenix gem. In other words, he’s allowed them to spend an entire day with him. So when Barley tries to say the spell it doesn’t seem to work. This severely disappoints Ian—his dream is to meet his father one day. The problem is that the film doesn’t react to Barley, but it reacts to Ian instead. Ian begins to say the spell and a body begins to form.

Sadly, something goes wrong and the phoenix gem breaks. They look around the room and realize that there’s no one in the room anymore. No one except for a pair of legs without the body or head. Barley realizes that to finish the spell they must go on an adventure to find a new phoenix gem.

Onward D23 poster

To blend in with everyone else, Barley disguises his father’s legs with a bunch of clothes and sunglasses. It’s very reminiscent of Weekend at Bernie’s. At this point, the trio meets up with a Manticore (Octavia Spencer) who gives them a clue that propels them on their journey.

For more D23 coverage, click here.

Onward hits theaters on March 6, 2020.

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