‘Onward’ is Already Heading to Disney+ Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The world is suffering and in uncharted territory with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic. A lot of places are shutting down, including major cities. Celebrities are urging action and more during this time, and some already have contracted the virus. Because places like movie theaters are closing or already closed, studios are releasing major films on streaming platforms and to digitally rent early. Onward is the newest Disney film to receive that fate. 

Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) Lightfoot in Disney/Pixar's 'Onward.'
Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) Lightfoot in Disney/Pixar’s ‘Onward’ | Disney+

‘Onward’ will premiere on Disney+ April 3, less than a month after it premiered in theaters

On March 20, Disney announced in a statement that they were releasing Onward several months early. The film just premiered on March 6, and is set to come to Disney+ on April 3. As for digital rentals, you can start watching the newest Pixar movie on digital platforms like Amazon and Apple at 5:00PM PST /8:00PM EST for $19.99 on March 20. 

“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,” said Dan Scanlon, director of Onward and Kori Rae, the producer, said in the press release.

The film isn’t one of Pixar’s biggest hits

As Showbiz Cheat Sheet reported in early March, Onward was a bit slow in the revenue department. The film saw a $40 million domestic opening weekend and earned $68 million worldwide. The last Pixar release, Incredibles 2, earned $180 million globally during its first, opening weekend according to Business Insider. But that’s also on the extreme side; Incredibles 2 had one of the best openings for an animated feature of all time. 

Onward was still the Number 1 movie in the world at the time of its release and has a fairly high score of 87 percent. Disney also released Frozen 2 and The Rise of Skywalker early to Disney+ soon after this crisis was deemed a pandemic, giving members of the streaming service some new material to watch from their self-isolation. 

‘Onward’ had a special meaning for creator

Onward stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as the voice of two brothers who lost their father, but think they found a way to bring him back. It takes on a somewhat Weekend at Bernie’s vibes when they start walking around with only half of their dad back. 

For the movie’s director, this held a special spot in his heart. “Much like the characters in the movie, my father passed away when I was about a year old and my brother was three,” Scanlan said in a press conference in February. “So as I can imagine, we don’t remember him at all, but we always wondered who he was and how we were like him. That question became the seed of Onward which is what if you could meet him? What if you could have one day? What would you learn? What would you ask? Then we added elves and sprites to that story.”

So, despite its short-lived time in cinemas, Onward might be your new favorite thing to cry over while social distancing.