During these extremely difficult and unprecedented times, families all around the world are looking for welcome distractions as many are stuck in their homes looking for ways to entertain themselves and their children. Step up Disney, who announced today via a press release that the latest Pixar feature “Onward” will be available to buy on demand from today, and will hit the streaming service Disney+ on April 3 in the U.S.
It’s an extreme rarity for a film — particularly a Pixar release — to hit a streaming service so quickly after release, but with the closing of cinemas across the world due to the coronavirus oubreak, it is now the only way for the film to be seen by families and film lovers alike.
As part of Disney’s press release, director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae said:
“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.”
“Onward” has a very familiar cast, with Marvel stars Tom Holland (“Spider-Man: Far From Home”) and Chris Pratt (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) lending their voices, as well as Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) and Emmy Award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) among others.
The following is the synopsis for “Onward” as written in Disney’s press release:
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.
Disney has been one of many companies in the film and television industry affected by the coronavirus outbreak, which has caused production delays, release date pushbacks and the closing of cinemas. Disney recently delayed the releases of “Black Widow” and “Mulan” among others, while the “Avatar” sequels have postponed filming for the time being.
The early release of “Onward” however is a great move from Disney, giving audiences the opportunity to watch the film from home now that they are unable to attend cinemas.