Chris Pratt seems like a natural choice for a Disney flick. He’s already won the hearts of many playing Star Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers movies. His next role will be an animated one for Disney/Pixar’s Onward. This isn’t his first animated role though. In 2008 he played “Jake” for an episode of the TV series The Batman. Two years later he lent his voice for two episodes of Ben 10 and recorded his voice for a companion video game. But his big break into the world of animation came in 2014 when he played a toy brick. Pratt played Emmet Brickowski in The Lego Movie and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part which came out earlier this year.
Pratt plays a whole different type of character (and shade) in Onward. Here, he’s playing Barley Lightfood, brother to Ian (voiced by Tom Holland). The two blue elves (not Smurfs or Na’vi) live in a mystical world where fairies, mermaids and unicorns are the norm. But much like our real world, these characters have gotten soft and Barley and Ian are beginning to wonder if there is any kind of magic left in their world. And so, they pack up in Barley’s van (which he calls Guinevere) and head on out for a quest even though Ian would like to think they are really just on an errand.
Onward is presented by the team behind Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, and is directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae. Other celebrities lending their voices to the cause include Veep’s and Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus who play the teens’ mom and Octavia Spencer in a role that has not been announced yet.
Onward is expected to come to theaters on March 6, 2020.
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.