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Onward Teaser.jpeg
Onward Poster.jpeg
Onward Ian and Barley.jpeg

"Put it in “O” for Onward!" - Barley Lightfoot
Genre: Animated
Directed By: Dan Scanlon
Produced By: Kori Rae
Written By: Dan Scanlon
Jason Headley
Keith Bunin
Starring: Tom Holland
Chris Pratt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Octavia Spencer
Cinematography: Sharon Calahan
Adam Habib
Distributed By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release Date: February 21, 2020 (Berlinale)
March 6, 2020 (United States)
Runtime: 102 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $175-200 million
Box Office: $144.9 million
Prequel: Toy Story 4 (by release date)
Sequel: Soul (by release date)

Onward is a 2020 American computer-animated urban fantasy adventure comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures and stars Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Octavia Spencer. The film is directed by Dan Scanlon, produced by Kori Rae and written by Scanlon, Jason Headley, and Keith Bunin as Pixar's 22nd feature film; it is the first Pixar film without any involvement from John Lasseter. The film premiered at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival on February 21, 2020 and was theatrically released on March 6, 2020.


Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley embark on a magical quest to spend one more day with their late father. Like any good adventure, their journey is filled with cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when dear Mom finds out her sons are missing, she teams up with the legendary manticore to bring her beloved boys back home.

Why It's Full Of Wonder

  1. The idea of a world populated by mythological creatures but is also taken in a modern suburban world that had once been full of magic is very original and amazing for Pixar standards.
  2. The voice acting for the movie is spectacular, especially from Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man from MCU and Spiderman franchise and Walter Beckett from Spies in Disguise and Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy and Emmet Brickowski and Rex Dangervest from The Lego Movie sequels), who portray brothers, Ian and Barley, perfectly.
  3. Much like Cars 3, Coco, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4, the animation is spectacular and extremely beautiful and is once again Pixar at their very absolute best.
  4. The character designs for the mythological beings in this movie are wonderful.
  5. For the most part, the directing by Dan Scanlon is rather amazing.
  6. There is one scene in the beginning which is a complete subversion of the old trope of 'the popular kids reject the weirdo', as the popular kids actually seem to want to be Ian's friend.
  7. Throughout the movie, it has no real antagonist (except the Curse Dragon, who could count for most people, except he only appears in the final battle). At first, the police officer (including Colt Bronco) seems like they were main antagonist. But since the actions aren't villainous, this is reasonable.
  8. The setting about the urban fantasy city and the background colors fit the tone of the movie very well.
  9. The song "Carried Me With You" by Brandi Carlile in the ending credits is very catchy.
  10. The characters are quite likable and interesting, especially the two Lightfoot brothers, who plans to be magic.
  11. There are many funny moments in the film, like how Ian tries to magically grow a gas tank but ends up turning Barley small instead.
  12. The invisible bridge scene is a blend of both hilarity and suspense once Ian's rope falls off.
  13. The design of Guinevere, Barley’s van, is nothing short of awesome and had a lot of effort put into it.
  14. Like other animated movies, including Pixar, it can be viewed as autobiographical to director Dan Scanlon's real life, as his dad were died when he and his brother were very young, allowing him to pitch it.
  15. The chemistry between Ian and Barley is a nice representation of brotherly relationships. In fact, Barley is set up as the de facto father figure towards Ian pretty early on, as evidenced by how he shows pride of his brother's magic gift rather than jealousy.
  16. The dramatic original score was great by Mychael and Jeff Danna.
  17. Memorial and hilarious quotes, like "Put it in “O” for Onward!".
  18. The Curse Dragon is a entertaining antagonist, despite not having enough screen-time.

Bad Qualities

  1. While likeable, Barley can be somewhat annoying at times.
  2. The pacing sometimes slows down just so Ian can learn a new spell.
  3. It was unnecessary for Ian to bring Wilden with him and Barley to the gas station, as the only reason for this was for a conflict to spark.
  4. Plothole: The disguise spell fades when the user tells a lie, but when Ian (disguised as Colt) lies about handling driving practice with Wilden (covered as Ian), nothing happens to the disguise.


Critical response

Onward receive generally positive reviews from critics and audiences for its characters, story, voice acting, animation, and character design, as well as LGBTQ+ representation. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on 309 reviews, with an average rating of 7.16/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "It may suffer in comparison to Pixar's classics, but Onward makes effective use of the studio's formula – and stands on its own merits as a funny, heartwarming, dazzlingly animated adventure". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 56 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale (tied with Cars 2 for the lowest score received by a Pixar film), and PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Box office

Onward grossed $144.9 million on a estimated $175–200 million million budget, making it third-lowest opening for a Pixar film and only the Pixar's second film to be a box-office bomb after The Good Dinosaur. It resulted in a total net loss of $131 million, more than The Good Dinosaur. It was also released right when COVID-19 was hitting the United States, leading to its poor box-office showing. Like The Good Dinosaur and several other films released in the early months of 2020, it found far greater success on VOD and home video sales.

Awards and nominations

At the Golden Globes Awards and 93rd Academy Awards, Onward was nominated at Best Animated Feature Film, losing to another Pixar film, Soul. Alongside with Soul, Onward became the first Pixar film to be nominated with Best Animated Feature, more than one for the Academy Awards.

Ban and censorship

Onward was banned in the Arab countries of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, as one female cyclops police officer character in the film named Specter (voiced by Lena Waithe) briefly indicates that she is a lesbian. The scene in question is a brief scene in which a simulacrum of Colt Bronco is lamenting about how Ian and Barley Lightfoot do not respect him as a father figure. Specter replies to him by saying, "It's not easy being a new parent, my girlfriend's daughter got me pulling my hair out, okay?" Homosexual acts are criminalized in the four countries, which are predominantly Muslim, although Kuwait does not criminalize female homosexual acts. The ban is not universal, and the film was screened in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Egypt, albeit the line was changed in the Arabic dub to "my sister's daughter". The Russian dub, due to the Russian gay propaganda law officially criminalizing the dissemination of LGBT-related content to minors under 18, changed the line to "my partner's daughter". The Russian dub also avoided referring to Specter with gender-specific pronouns. The scene was also changed similarly in Poland and Hungary. Onward also got targeted by the Anti-SJW community, as they marketed ad accused the movie of being woke and promoting LGBTQ+ SJW propaganda.


On January 27, 2020, a San Francisco tattoo artist named Sweet Cecily Daniher had filed a copyright lawsuit against Disney, Pixar, and Onward producer Kori Rae, believing that Pixar had copied the design of her Vanicorn in violation of her rental agreement with the company, as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Visual Artists Rights Act, and the California Artists Protection Act. She has sought in her suit to prohibit distribution of the film and any infringing advertisements or merchandise.



  • The goat girl was omitted because the filmmakers wanted the film to focus on the relationship between Ian and Barley. The scene itself was removed because the filmmakers felt it was too grim.
  • This is the last Pixar movie that was released theatrically, until Lightyear in 2022.
  • This was Pixar's first film for 2020s as well as original film since Coco in 2017 and the third post-Disney purchase Pixar film not to be released in the summer.
  • Due to the MPAA's rebrand to the MPA in 2019, this makes the first appearance of the new logo in the end credits for a feature-length Pixar film.
  • The copyright information says 2019, despite being released in 2020. Subsequent Pixar movies fix this error and put the correct release year.
  • This is the only Pixar movie so far not to feature the credits "Disney Presents" and "A Pixar Animation Studios Film" in the opening. That is still mentioned on posters and the physical media covers.
  • If you read the kids menu of the Manticore's Tavern, you'll notice "kraken legs" are an option.
  • Not long after the theaters, it was digitally released on all digital platforms and Disney+ and then physical media. It made its American television debut on Freeform in March 2022, and a Canadian broadcast is yet to be scheduled.
  • It is the first Pixar film to have March release. The second was Turning Red and the third will be Elio.
  • This is the first Pixar film to feature the short 2011 Disney closing logo since The Good Dinosaur, though Soul would restart usage of the full 2011 Disney logo as a closing logo.
    • Ironically, both movies were scored by the Danna brothers and were bombed at the box office.
  • It is the first Pixar film since Toy Story 3 not to have Disney's FastPlay on DVD, this time due to the lack of any previews and the "All films and promotions may not be available in all territories" screen. However, the film's Blu-ray counterpart did include previews. This is most likely due to either the film underperforming at the box office or the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • On DVD, this is the last Pixar movie to have the blue "This product (including its soundtrack)..." warning screen. Starting with Soul, the screen used on Blu-Ray releases appears instead.
  • The home video release marks the first home media release of a theatrical Disney film to take place after its debut on Disney+.
  • This is currently marks the final home media release of a theatrical Disney film to have English ESL after English SDH. The next DVD, Soul, only has English SDH now.
  • This is currently marks the final home media release to have "Coming to Theaters" bumper play before a trailer. The next releases do not have a bumper before a trailer.
  • None of the home media releases contain the theatrical short film Playdate with Destiny that was released before the movie in theatres.

Pixar Animation Studios

Toy Story - A Bug's Life - Toy Story 2 - Monsters, Inc. - Finding Nemo - The Incredibles - Cars - Ratatouille - WALL-E - Up - Toy Story 3 - Cars 2 - Brave - Monsters University - Inside Out - The Good Dinosaur - Finding Dory - Cars 3 - Coco - Incredibles 2 - Toy Story 4 - Onward - Soul - Luca - Turning Red - Lightyear - Elemental - Elio - Inside Out 2

Short movies:

Theatrical short films:

The Adventures of André and Wally B. - Luxo Jr. - Red's Dream - Tin Toy - Knick Knack - Geri's Game - For the Birds - Boundin' - One Man Band - Lifted - Presto - Partly Cloudy - Day & Night - La Luna - The Blue Umbrella - Lava - Sanjay's Super Team - Piper - Lou - Bao

SparkShorts series:

Purl - Smash and Grab - Kitbull - Float - Wind - Loop - Out - Burrow - Twenty Something - Nona


Mike's New Car - Jack-Jack Attack - Mr. Incredible and Pals - Mater and the Ghostlight - Your Friend the Rat - BURN-E - Dug's Special Mission - George and A.J. - The Legend of Mor'du - Party Central - Riley's First Date? - Marine Life Interviews - Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool - Auntie Edna - Lamp Life - 22 vs. Earth - Ciao Alberto

Short series:

Cars Toons:

Mater's Tall Tales:

Rescue Squad Mater - Mater the Greater - El Materdor - Tokyo Mater - Unidentified Flying Mater - Monster Truck Mater - Heavy Metal Mater - Moon Mater - Mater Private Eye - Air Mater - Time Travel Mater

Tales from Radiator Springs:

Hiccups - Bugged - Spinning - The Radiator Springs 500½

Toy Story Toons:

Hawaiian Vacation - Small Fry - Partysaurus Rex

Forky Asks a Question:

What Is Money? - What Is a Friend? - What Is Art? - What Is Time - What Is Love? - What Is a Computer? - What Is a Leader? - What Is a Pet? - What Is Cheese? - What Is Reading?

Pixar Popcorn:

To Fitness and Beyond - Unparalleled Parking - Dory Finding - Soul of the City - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Love - Chore Day the Incredibles Way - A Day in the Life of the Dead - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Three Heads - Dancing with the Cars - Cookie Num Num

Dug Days:

Squirrel! - Puppies - Flowers - Smell - Science

Television series:

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (co-production) - Monsters at Work - Cars On The Road - Win or Lose

External links


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