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.
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.