The Walt Disney Studios has announced that the Onward Digital (order at Amazon) and Movies Anywhere release has been set for today at 5:00PM PST/ 8:00PM EST and the film will be available on Disney+ on April 3rd in the U.S.
The film premiered in theaters on March 6 and earned rave reviews from audiences, including a 95% Verified Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. With cinemas currently impacted by closures due to the global health crisis, Disney will offer the film ahead of schedule to purchase on digital platforms in the U.S. beginning today for $19.99.
“While we’re looking forward to audiences enjoying our films on the big screen again soon, given the current circumstances, we are pleased to release this fun, adventurous film to digital platforms early for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes,” said Onward director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae.
In Onward, teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, embarking on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries.
But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior — aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) — and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed.
Onward is inspired by director Dan Scanlon’s personal experiences with his brother. “My father passed away when I was about a year old, and my brother was three. So as you can imagine we don’t remember him at all, but we always wondered who he was and how we were like him,” Scanlon said previously.
Scanlon added that the original role of Ian, the younger brother, changed when they cast Tom Holland. Ian was originally more sarcastic, but, “Tom brought a sincerity to him and a vulnerability to him that was crucial in a way that I didn’t quite understand, that just naturally comes from him.”
He said that Barley changed as well, with the casting of Pratt. “Chris was very protective of Barley. Barley is kind of a goofball and a crazy character… we’d write scenes where Barley’s pants fall down, and he falls down the stairs.” He explained that Pratt would say, “‘He’s not an idiot, he’s a well-intentioned guy.'”
Pratt added that he related to Barley. He said that, when Barley finds out that his little brother has the power of magic, he’s “never jealous.” He said that his own brother originally wanted to be an actor, and that when Pratt became successful, he was nothing but proud of his brother. He felt that Barley is the same way. “He loves his brother so much that he’s just so proud of him that he has this gift,” Pratt said.
Are you going to buy the Onward Digital release or watch it on Disney+? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.