Read Pixar’s ‘Onward’ Script (EXCLUSIVE)

Not just one of the best animated films of the year, Pixar’s “Onward” sits as one of the best animated films, period. Beautifully inventive and narratively rich, “Onward” stands as one of the awards season’s most underrated gems, especially with its story.

One of the last films to be seen in theaters before the COVID-19 pandemic, the film has been in the thick of the awards race for best animated feature. As Pixar always does, the film is much more than its visuals. The movie features wonderful voice performances from its cast, including Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mychael and Jeff Danna’s inventive score and a wonderful original number “Carried Me With You,” written by Brandi Carlile and Phil and Tim Hanseroth. Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley and Keith Bunin’s screenplay hits all the emotional chords, especially in the film’s big finale.

The trio describes the final moments between main characters Ian, Barley and their dad on pages 121-122 — which you can find below in its entirety.

“Ian turns to see Laurel through a crack in the debris. Colt runs up alongside her. Suddenly there’s a warm burst of light from atop the peak. Laurel and Colt look toward the light, stunned. Ian climbs the rubble to find a gap through which he can see. Barley is face to face with a glowing figure. The glowing subsides to reveal Dad. All of him. Barley and Dad look uncomfortable at first, two strangers getting to know each other. Ian can only see Dad’s back. Ian slips from his position and loses sight of Barley and Dad. He turns to see the sun is disappearing. He climbs back up and continues to watch. Dad and Barley talk and laugh together. Dad reaches out and gives his big son a hug. The sun sets. And Dad vanishes in Barley’s arms. Barley collects himself, then climbs down the peak. Tears fill Laurel’s eyes; she leans on Colt. Barley reaches down to help up Ian. The boys stand atop the rubble face to face.”

With a year that has included so much tragedy, the film resonates profoundly, and it doesn’t escape co-writer and director Scanlon. “‘Onward’ is certainly about remembering those you’ve lost, but we wanted a big takeaway to be about appreciating the people you still have,” says Scanlon. “It’s about telling the people that are still with you and everything that you’re going to wish you’d said when they’re gone. Let them know how much you appreciate everything they’ve done for you and how much you love them. There’s no value in holding that in.”

WGA Awards voting ends on Feb. 12, and nominations are announced on Feb. 16.

Visit THE AWARDS HUB to see the full list of contenders by category.

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