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Pixar sneak peeks at D23

D23, Dan Scanlon, Dana Murray, Disney+, Onward, Pete Docter, Soul, Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • August 26, 2019

D23, Disney’s official fanclub, hosted its bi-annual expo this past weekend. There’s been a drought of Pixar news recently, barring Toy Story 4‘s billion dollar box office earnings, but now we’ve got a nice trickle of news! Attendees were treated to previews of the newest Pixar films in theaters next year: Onward and Soul. And that’s not all, since the expo is always packed with lots of celebrations and giveaways for fans. This year, there were booths for a sculpting demo with longtime Pixarian Jerome Ranft, the Pixar archives, and designing toys. Guinevere, the truck from Onward, also made an appearance.

Here’s what we can look forward to in 2020!

Onward

Described by director Dan Scanlon as a modern fantasy quest, the film follows two elvin brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, living in a fantasy suburbia that has lost much of the former. Pixar’s films usually bring magic into the real world, but this time they’re taking audiences to an imaginary one where magic has faded.

I absolutely love this poster’s design. I’m a rookie pin collector, but I’d love to get my denim jacket on this level! Notice the cassette tape simply marked with Dad. It’s not as flashy as the others, but my eyes are drawn to it anyway. The Disney Store could even sell some of these pins; I covet that unicorn.

If you’d like to read more about the storyline, Collider has a great write up but beware of spoilers! Knowing how personal this film is for Dan Scanlon, those brief details about the footage screened at D23 is quite moving.

Soul

Pete Docter’s latest venture after probing the human mind in Inside Out will now plumb the depths of the soul. This film is already a challenge since many people don’t even believe in the existence of a soul. Pete hasn’t disappointed us yet though. And it’ll be the studio’s first ever full length film with a black protagonist! The synopsis over on Polygon also has a handful of plot details if you’d rather avoid those.

Soul tells the story of Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), on a quest of his own like the Lightfoot brothers, but an entirely dissimilar one. Tina Fey also joins the cast as 22, along with Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, and Questlove. The soundtrack will be provided by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and Jazz musician Jon Batiste. The newly unveiled character art:

Tina Fey as 22

concept art

Forky+

Pixar’s got a new shorts collection debuting on the new streaming service, Disney+, starring Forky! In “Forky Asks a Question,” Tony Hale reprises his role and revealed the other characters who will be joining our favorite spork as he unravels the answers to life’s questions. 

The Forky series will be available on Disney+’s November 12th premiere, but we still have many months to go before Onward and Soul. Looks like the drought is over!

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10 Things You Might Not Have Noticed In The New Onward Trailer

Onward, Trailer

Posted by Joanna • June 3, 2019

Pixar surprised us with a new trailer for its first 2020 movie on Thursday. You can watch the trailer for Onward (directed by Monsters University‘s Dan Scanlon) below:

It’s a great trailer – it shows off the movie’s weird but stunning world, and also proves its sense of humour and heart. Very little is ever given away in these early-on trailers, but we’ve been doing some detective work to try to glean every bit of information from what we’ve been given. Here are 10 things you may or may not have noticed from the trailer.

1. The ‘Under Bridge’ Transportation Authority

At first glance, it might just look like a troll is operating a toll bridge booth (because why not?). But if you look more closely, these drivers seem to be paying to go under a bridge. This is probably a reference to the ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ fairytale, in which a troll lives under the bridge that the three goats want to cross. Notice how the sign underneath the troll worker says ‘cash or riddle’!

2. The skyscrapers have turrets

Take another look at the city in the background – the skyscrapers have turrets! To begin with, it looks like the city itself lacks a lot of the fantastical design, but it seems like fantasy is everywhere. Also – that design on the construction cone? Lovely.

3. Residents of New Mushroomton have satellite

It’s so cool seeing a suburban setting except with mushroom houses. New Mushroomton seems to be the name of elf brothers Ian and Barley’s hometown, and look – they have satellite! A lot of the mushroom houses have been fitted with satellite dishes, but also phone lines and electrical wires.

4. Even New Mushroomton’s garden ornaments are mushroom-inspired

Look behind this pool-lounging mermaid – she has little garden lamps on her lawn, and they look just like toadstools! As an aside – I wonder how mermaids live in the suburbs? Is she trapped in this make-shift pool forever, or..?

5. The plane has a mythical creature logo

We can’t totally make out what the creature is, but if you peer closely at that plane, its branding is definitely based off of a mythical creature. Perhaps a sitting dragon? A unicorn? What do you think?

6. Even the simplest objects look fancy

Once you start looking at a screencap from this trailer, it’s hard not to get wonderfully lost in the details. Even things like lawnmowers and microwaves look like they’d belong in The Lord of the Rings somehow. There’s a kind of floral, elvish design that runs through Ian’s whole home.

7. Barley’s a fan of some great-sounding bands

If you look closely at Barley’s clothes, it’s covered in badges and logos – the one that you can see below is more than likely spelling out ‘HYDRA’, as evidenced by the font’s many dragon-like heads. A hydra is a mythical beast with mutiple, or even multiplying, heads (think back to Disney’s Hercules). Pixar are so amazing at going the extra mile – I’m sure this movie’s going to be brimming with genius logos that many of us will probably never notice.

8. Is Barley’s car called Gwynivere?

The registration plate on Barley’s car spells out ‘Gwniver’, suggesting that it has a name that would fit in great in any classic fantasy novel. The car make is ‘Valor’.

9. The car radio brand is ‘Siren’

When Barley starts up his car, you very briefly get to see this logo on his car’s radio system. It looks like the brand, and it’s called ‘Siren’. This would make sense since sirens, in myth, were said to be dangerous creatures, half-bird and half-woman, who would use song to lure lost fishermen off course. They would then climb onto their ships and kill them, presumably.

10. Halt!

And last but not least – the stop signs in New Mushroomton are not stop signs at all, but rather ‘halt signs’. Very Dungeons and Dragons. This sign can be seen as Ian shoos away those feral unicorns.

 

So – did any of you spot all these details? I think it’s great that even a simple trailer under 2 minutes long has so much to dissect. It just goes to show you how much work goes into a Pixar movie.

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Onward – First Poster, First Trailer

Onward, Poster

Posted by Joanna • May 30, 2019

We only just got our first glimpse of Pixar’s next original movie Onward yesterday, and now Pixar are immediately surprising us with more Onward firsts! On Twitter, they teased us with a ‘magical riddle’ of sorts – if you reply to the tweet and solve it correctly, you’re rewarded with a beautiful poster. And a trailer is coming later tonight…

If you’re not wise enough to crack the code (or if you’re just impatient like us), then have a look at the poster below!

Isn’t it stunning? It looks like the city centre has lost some of the magic that the suburbs are still clinging onto. It’s surreal to see such a civilisation surrounded by jagged mountains and overseen by two crescent moons. Perhaps Onward will explore the fact that our world is a little like this too – huge cities can block out the beauty and wonder that our planet has to offer.

Also, can we just appreciate that van? And that it’s called Valor? What a beautiful paint job it’s had done on it. And look at that magical staff Ian has in his hand!

The excitement doesn’t stop at the poster though – the very first Onward trailer will also air tonight during the NBA final! Stay tuned to hear our thoughts on it, because we’re sure to have many!

Onward cometh to theatres in March 2020.

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Onward we go! First Look at Pixar’s Newest Film Arriving Next Year

Dan Scanlon, Onward

Posted by Simoa • May 29, 2019

Meet the cast of Pixar’s 2020 feature film – a family of elves! People has the exclusive and even sat down with director Dan Scanlon who shared more details about Onward. The film stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as elf brothers living in a fantasy suburbia. Julia Louis-Dreyfus will appear as the pair’s mother. Octavia Spencer also rounds out the cast, but we don’t know yet what role she’s playing. And now here’s what we’ve all been waiting for, images from the film itself!

I like it! The premise is new territory for Pixar and siblings are at the center. I’m digging the clothes on the elves, and the fact that they have cars and dragons in their world. As Scanlon describes it, the brothers are on a quest to find out if magic still exists.

Ian (Holland’s character) is the younger of the two. He’s shy and awkward, while Barley, the older brother (Pratt), is much more outgoing and wild.

Of the film, Scanlon says:

“My hope is some of the questions that I’m asking in the film will be questions other people are asking about their own lives. And I think that’s what a lot of the times gets us to connect to a movie.”

We’ve got lots of questions of our own, and can’t wait to get more answers over these next couple of months! Onward will be released on March 6th, next year. Let us know what you think of it so far.

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“Onward” – Title And Cast For 2020 Original Pixar Feature Announced

Dan Scanlon, Onward, Suburban Fantasy Film

Posted by Joanna • December 12, 2018

Pixar have announced the title for their next original feature releasing on March 6 2020 – Onward. 


Up to this point, Onward (which has been described as a ‘modern fantasy’ film), directed by Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) and produced by Kori Rae, has been under the working title “The Untitled Pixar Film That Takes You To A Suburban Fantasy World“. It was first announced at the 2017 D23, and takes place in a world where fantasy has almost become mundane. Chris Pratt and Tom Holland will play the teenage elf brothers who set out on a journey together in the hopes of rekindling magic and spending one last day with their late father.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer have also been revealed as cast members. This isn’t Louis-Dreyfus’ first time lending her voice to a Pixar character – she voiced Princess Atta in A Bug’s Life way back in 1998!

The film is inspired by Scanlon’s own life and relationship with his brother – Scanlon’s father passed away when he was only a year old. Now that the title has officially been revealed, we can all look forward to more plot and character details being released.

Following the official release of the title, Pixar employees on Twitter have been expressing their excitement about working on the film. Pixar animator Austin Madison compared Onward to a Tolkien story, suggesting that this is a kind of fantasy that the studio has never explored before.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if John Hughes directed a Tolkien story, you may want to join our quest.

Tolkien stories tend to have epic journeys, incredible amounts of lore, strong bonds between characters, and a lot of heart. We never knew that Pixar tackling a Tolkienesque fantasy feature was a thing that we needed, but this news has made the wait for Onward (or at least some more news on it) all the more excruciating.

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