Pixar’s new movie “Onward” marks a reunion of sorts for Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. The two actors, who both have ties to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and most recently teamed in “Avengers: Endgame” as Spider-Man and Star-Lord, play brothers in the animated fantasy adventure. Their friendship has become a highlight of “Onward’s” promotional tour as as the co-stars turned real-life-pals have shared their mutual admiration for each other.
“It’s just really nice to have him in my corner,” Holland said. “He’s someone that I really look up to and someone that I really appreciate. And I’m glad that we’re good buddies.”
Pratt adds, “I love Tom. It’s the most fun I’ve had since ‘Avengers.’ He’s a great kid and, in a way, I do look at him as a brother, so it’s apropos that we are playing brothers in the film.”
In “Onward,” the actors voice brothers Ian Lightfoot (Holland) and Barley (Pratt), a pair of elves who attempt to resurrect their late father for just 24 hours using a magic wand they’re gifted on Ian’s 16th birthday. Writer-director Dan Scanlon’s personal experience of losing his father at a young age inspired the movie, which is equal parts funny and moving.
“I just immediately fell in love with Dan Scanlon’s story,” Pratt said. “Once you see the movie you’ll understand more about it. He had me hooked. He brought me up to Pixar, pitched me the story, I was crying during the pitch and I knew I wanted to be part of helping him express his vision.”
Pratt has warned that audiences should expect to shed some tears while watching this film. But Holland, who hadn’t seen the finished product before Tuesday’s premiere, was bracing himself to feel all the emotion. After all, it wouldn’t be the first Pixar movie to set off waterworks.
“Coco is my favorite Pixar movie — my granny Tess is not too dissimilar to Mama Coco, so when I saw that I felt really connected to her,” Holland said. “I thought it’d be really really funny if I wore mascara to the [“Onward”] premiere and cried in the screening and walked out and posted a picture. I totally would’ve worn some, but I didn’t have any.”
Joining Holland and Pratt on the blue carpet premiere were Octavia Spencer, Ali Wong, Wilmer Valderrama, Mel Rodriguez, Tracey Ullman and Dave Foley, along with Pixar legend John Ratzenberger — who has voiced a character in all the studio’s feature films.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes a return to Pixar in “Onward,” playing Holland and Pratt’s mother after voice roles in 2013’s “Planes” and 1998’s “A Bug’s Life.” But how much has the animation house changed since the actor first started worked with the studio?
“From my perspective, it hasn’t changed at all. I’m sure the technology’s changed from an animation point of view, but actually just going into a recording studio and recording, it’s exactly the same,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “It’s Pixar. How can I say no? I mean, they called and they said, ‘We’ve got this project’ and I’m like, ‘Great, where do I sign?’ I didn’t even need to know about the script or anything.”
After the carpet, the cast was announced to the audience inside the theatre and Holland and Pratt were introduced together, taking center stage and sharing a big bear hug, showing off that brotherly love.