Shrek Is Over, Pixar's Onward Can Trample Your Fairytale Expectations Now

All it's missing is a Smash Mouth tune for its title song.

For the last couple of decades, the Shrek movies have been the benchmark when it comes to irreverent animated films that somehow manage to balance emotional stuff with ridiculous meta jokes. Well folks, it seems like we have a contender for that crown because Pixar’s upcoming film, Onward, appears to be this generation’s version of Shrek.

The movie is set in a world where all your usual fantasy and fairy tale tropes are every day things. Pet dragons that are scared of spray bottles? Yep. Centaurs, dwarves, and elves mingling with one another? Totally. Wild, bin-diving unicorns? Oh definitely.

As for the story, well this is where the emotional side of things come in as it tells the story of two elf brothers (played by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) go on a journey to see if there’s still magic in the world so they can spend one last day with their late father. Yep, that premise alone has sold me and the trailer below is just an extra cherry on top.

Yep, it seems like Onward will be stuffed to the brim with heart, dumb jokes, and complete deconstructions of all your favourite fairy tale tropes. I almost half expected “All Star” to start playing at some point.

Onward is scheduled to drop into cinemas on March 19, 2020, which gives Pixar more than enough time to get Smash Mouth onboard to write a banger for the movie.

Today I Learned: Up's Iconic Love Story Opener Was Originally Less Emo And More Slapstick

Less crying and more uncomfortable laughter.

Everyone may have differing opinions on what the best Pixar film is but chances are that Up will be high up on most people’s lists because it’s just brilliant, especially the iconic love story opener between Carl and Ellie which arguably was what made the movie so special.

As Up turns 10 years old, those 5 or so opening minutes remain the greatest thing Pixar has ever produced (and probably will ever produce). But that moment of magic almost didn’t pan out the way it did.

Rather than the soul-crushing hammer blow to the feels that the scene ultimately turned out to be, it was originally less emotional and leaned more into Looney Tunes slapstick territory.

Tearing up already.

According to a behind-the-scenes video of Up on Pixar’s website, the filmmakers revealed that the original concept involved a young Carl trying to catch a bird with a crude box trap, only for a young Ellie to come out of nowhere with a massive right hook to Carl’s arm and declaring that, “Birds are nice! Boys are dumb!

This ultimately starts a life-long game where the couple sneak punch each other in the most random ways, which was intended to be a “non-sappy” and “funny” way of developing their relationship. This extends right up to the point where Carl is visiting Ellie in hospital and she weakly punches his arm (out of love).

In the words of co-director Bob Peterson, Carl and Ellie “punch themselves old” as opposed to “sweetly become old.”

(The explanation and storyboards come in at the start of the clip.)

While the filmmakers thought the scene was hilarious yet heartfelt, test audiences didn’t exactly warm to Carl and Ellie’s little punching game and reacted to the sequence with “silence” rather than tears.

Since Up hinges on the Carl and Ellie montage working, the filmmakers knew they had to fix it and ultimately ended up with the tearjerking scene we all know and love.

I do see where the filmmakers were coming from in regards to the original concept for Carl and Ellie’s growing old montage but it was one of those things that looked good on paper but just didn’t work when executed.

But hey, victories are born out of failures and we got the perfect montage in the end. 10 years on, I still can’t watch the scene and not tear up, and I know I’m far from the only one.

Pop-up Channel

Follow Us