Pixar's Latest Film 'Onward' Is Being Fast-Tracked to Video on Demand and Disney+

Cinemas are currently closed, but you'll soon be able to watch this Chris Pratt and Tom Holland-starring elf story on your couch.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 30, 2020

If your life could use a bit more Pixar magic at the moment, then Disney is here to help, with the Mouse House rushing the beloved animation studio's latest film to Australian and New Zealand audiences via digital rental and its streaming platform Disney+.

Featuring the voices of Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer, Onward was originally slated to release on the big screen Down Under on Thursday, March 26; however those plans changed when cinemas were ordered to shut. While the movie did play in Australian theatres for a few days over the weekend immediately beforehand, giving dedicated audiences a sneak peek, cinemas were hardly packed at the time — so, if this elf-filled adventure is still on your must-watch list, you're not alone.

Pixar fans will be able to get their animation fix via video on demand from Friday, April 3, which'll require paying separately to view the film. Or, if you're already a Disney+ subscriber — or you've been thinking of becoming one — you'll be able to watch Onward on the company's own streaming platform as part of its regular package from 6pm on Friday, April 24.

Story-wise, Onward tells the tale of brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (Marvel co-stars Holland and Pratt), two teenage elves who've grown up without their dearly departed dad. Thanks to an unexpected flash of long-dormant magic, they're given the chance to spend one last day with their father — but, in order to do so, they'll have to undertake a perilous quest in Barley's rundown van Guinevere.

From the above description, you might've noticed that Pixar's usual formula isn't at play here, with the company branching beyond the "what if toys/cars/rats/robots/monsters/feelings had feelings?" setup that's served it so well in everything from the Toy Story franchise to Inside Out. Rest assured, however, that Onward's central elf siblings do indeed experience a whole heap of emotions as they cast spells, try to decipher mysterious maps, endeavour to avoid curses, explore their complicated brotherly relationship and team up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion called The Manticore (Spencer).

Fast-tracking Onward to digital platforms is the latest example of film industry's efforts to adapt to the changes forced by the spread of COVID-19. In Australia and New Zealand, Disney follows fellow distributor Roadshow's lead — with the latter also speeding up the online release of a number of its big titles as well.

Check out the trailer for Onward below:

Onward will be available to purchase separately on digital platforms in Australia and New Zealand from Friday, April 3, before hitting Disney's streaming platform Disney+ as part of its regular package at 6pm on Friday, April 24.

Images: © 2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.


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Published on March 30, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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