These days, Disney is seemingly building its reputation on live-action remakes, animated sequels and basically by slowly conquering the world. I’ve already spoken about my upset over the studios newfound hesitance to release anything animated and original, and how this has actually ended production on promising projects such as the Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation Gigantic. And for a moment, I feared that Pixar was following in a similar path, with the studio only producing The Incredibles 2 in 2018 alone – a shame considering that before then they produced one of the best movies of 2017, Coco.
However, it seems that there is a ray of light in this world, and Pixar is baring the torch. On May 31st 2019, Pixar dropped the first teaser for its upcoming fantasy epic, Onward which is set to hit cinemas in 2020. And from what the trailer has shown, this film definitely has some promise.
The trailer opens with some absolutely stunning visuals, a fantasy world of gigantic mountains, winged unicorns and sprawling oceans alive with colourful mermaids. But, this is a Pixar trailer, and they love to surprise us. Because the next shot shows that this magical kingdom, has an airport! What we are treated to next are shots of a modern fantasy world, complete with cars, social media and even Cash4Gems.
The visuals in these sections of the trailer are visually striking, seeing these fantastical creatures placed into such a mundane and recognised setting makes evident how truly interesting this concept is. What makes the trailer even more engaging is the introduction of our main characters, elf brothers – Ian (voiced by Tom Holland) and Barley (voiced by Chris Pratt). Although very little has been given about the story, the character designs of our two main elves is truly stunning, with both reflecting the characteristic and builds of their voice actors. The blue skin and hair is also a nice touch, adding a striking quality to their appearance and overall palette. We also get a glimpse of their mother (portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus), but sadly Octavia Spencer (who is also in the movie) has yet to make an appearance.
According to online sources, the film will focus on Ian and Barley as they search for magic, in the hope of spending just one more day with their deceased father. This plot brief alone is already bringing in a lot of emotions, and I’m sure this film will deliver in the credited Pixar pathos. Let’s hope this film is another artistic beauty like Coco, because god knows we need some more originality from the Mouse House now.