Onward: Keine halben Sachen
In the fantasy world where elf brothers Ian and Barley live, magic has been replaced by technology. Life may be more comfortable with cars, mobile phones and fast food, but it is also less exciting. When they discover a secret message from their late father, a new world opens up. “The story is inspired by my own relationship with my brother and our connection with our dad who passed away when I was about a year old. He’s always been a mystery to us. A family member sent us a tape recording of him saying just two words: ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’. Two words. But to my brother and me – it was magic,” says director Dan Scanlon. Father-son relationships may not be a new theme for Disney/Pixar, but setting the film in a fantasy world that is designed to reflect the world we live in raises the bar significantly. Onward masters this challenge effortlessly. Maintaining the creativity (let’s call it magic) that has always been Pixar’s trademark, the film also nods to several tropes of the adventure and fantasy genre. Entertaining and moving, Dan Scanlon’s film spans an emotional arc that is especially important today: it’s not that big a step from fearing something to trusting in it.
by Dan Scanlon
with Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Kyle Bornheimer, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong
USA 2020 English 103’ Colour Rating R0


  • Tom Holland (Ian Lightfoot)
  • Chris Pratt (Barley Lightfoot)
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Laurel Lightfoot)
  • Octavia Spencer (Der Mantikor)
  • Mel Rodriguez (Colt Bronco)
  • Kyle Bornheimer (Wilden Lightfoot)
  • Lena Waithe (Officer Specter)
  • Ali Wong (Officer Gore)


Director Dan Scanlon
Screenplay Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley, Keith Bunin
Cinematography Sharon Calahan, Adam Habib
Editing Catherine Apple
Music Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna
Sound Design Nia Hansen, Shannon Mills
Production Design Noah Klocek
Casting Natalie Lyon, Kevin Reher
Production Manager Alice Clendenen
Producer Kori Rae
Executive Producer Pete Docter

World sales

Walt Disney Studios

Produced by

Dan Scanlon

Born in Michigan, USA, he lives in San Francisco. He studied illustration at Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio and has been at Pixar Animation studios since 2001. As a storyboard artist, he worked on Cars and Toy Story 3. He co-directed the short film Mater and the Ghostlight and made his feature film directing debut in 2013 with Monsters University. As Vice President, Creative at Pixar, he is involved in the key creative decision-making at the studio.


2006 Mater and the Ghostlight (Hook und das Geisterlicht); short film, co-director: John Lasseter 2009 Tracy 2013 Monsters University (Die Monster Uni) 2020 Onward (Onward: Keine halben Sachen)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020