Today, director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae were recognized with their first Oscar nominations, claiming a slot in the Best Animated Feature category with Disney/Pixar’s Onward.
“We’re so proud of the film, and proud of the cast and crew, and it’s a real honor,” said Scanlon. “It’s so surreal, and early in the morning, so it almost feels like a dream. But it’s pretty great. We’re so happy for the cast and crew that put their all into this film, and shared their personal stories, along with Dan’s and mine,” added Rae. “There was a whole lot of heart from the crew on the film, and I’m just so happy for all of them.”
Drawing inspiration for the film from the loss of his father at a very early age, Scanlon feels the film has resonated, in part, because loss has unfortunately been rampant, in the time of the coronavirus pandemic. “And like Kori mentioned, because we put a lot of our personal stories into this movie, I think that’s why it connects with people,” he said. “I think a lot of people see their own lives in the film, so hopefully it’s a movie that they’re going back to and viewing more than once, and getting something out of every time.”
While Scanlon and Rae were unable to get into specifics regarding future projects, they did note that they have reteamed, in the development of new ideas. “We’re working together again, which is great,” Scanlon said. “I think we’ve learned so much with every film we’ve made together, and we’ll see where it goes.”
The second Disney/Pixar animated feature from Scanlon, following 2013’s Monsters University, Onward centers on Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt), elven brothers in search of a magical artifact that will bring their father back to life for a day.
Thus far in awards season, the film has claimed Best Animated Feature nominations at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, along with seven Annie Award noms and other accolades.
In the Oscars’ Animated Feature category, the pic will contend opposite Soul (Disney/Pixar), Wolfwalkers (Apple TV+), Over the Moon (Netflix), and A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (Netflix/Aardman Animations).