Pixar's "Onward" centers around two elf brothers on a quest to reunite with their late father in a fantasy world where magic has ceased to exit. In honor of the Disney cartoon's debut on March 6, 2020, Wonderwall.com is taking a closer look at the cast. Keep reading to get the scoop on which A-listers are bringing the mythical creatures in "Onward" to life…
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Tom Holland voices Ian Lightfoot, an awkward teenage elf on a mission to reconnect with his late father, who died before he was born.
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You know Tom Holland from his work as Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and from his old high-profile romance with "Spider-Man: Homecoming" co-star Zendaya. The English actor — who made his feature film debut in 2012's "The Impossible" and scored the EE Rising Star Award during the 2017 BAFTA Awards — also starred in "In the Heart of the Sea," "The Lost City of Z" and "The Current War." He's no stranger to voice work either: He voiced characters in the English version of "The Secret World of Arrietty," in 2019's "Spies in Disguise" and in the recent box office bomb "Dolittle."
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Chris Pratt voices Ian's embarrassing big brother, Barley Lightfoot, a history buff with a passion for table-top gaming.
You know Chris Pratt from his work in two of the biggest movie franchises of the past decade: He's Peter Quill in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and Owen Grady in "Jurassic World." But he wasn't always an action star. He got his start on the TV drama "Everwood" in 2002 and went on to have a memorable stint on "The O.C." before starring as Andy Dwyer on "Parks and Recreation" from 2009 to 2015. His other biggest hits include "Strangers with Candy," "Wanted," "Bride Wars," "Jennifer's Body," "Moneyball," "The Five-Year Engagement," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Her," "The Magnificent Seven" and "Passengers." He also has experience with voice work thanks to his role as Emmet Brickowski in the "Lego Movie" franchise. Chris shares son Jack with his first wife, Anna Faris. He and Katherine Schwarzenegger tied the knot in June 2019.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus voices Laurel Lightfoot, Ian and Barley's mother.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus will forever be synonymous with "Seinfeld," for which she earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe. The actress, who got her start on "Saturday Night Live" in 1982 and made her feature film debut in 1986's "Troll," went on to star on "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Veep" — and took home Emmys for both. She also had a memorable stint on "Arrested Development" and portrayed a version of herself on several episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Her other biggest hits include "Hannah and Her Sisters," "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and "Enough Said," for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. As far as voice acting is concerned, she's no newbie: She voiced Princess Atta in "A Bug's Life" and Rochelle in "Planes." The breast cancer survivor, who can currently be seen in "Downhill," has two adult sons with her husband of more than three decades, actor-writer-producer Brad Hall. (They were college sweethearts at Northwestern University.)
Octavia Spencer voices The Manticore, a restauranteur who teams up with the Lightfoots on their quest.
Octavia Spencer made her acting debut in 1996's "A Time to Kill" and went on to have small but important roles in films like "Never Been Kissed," "Being John Malkovich," "Blue Streak," "Big Momma's House," "Spider-Man," "Legally Blonde 2," "S.W.A.T.," "Bad Santa," "Coach Carter," "Miss Congeniality 2," "Beauty Shop," "Seven Pounds," "The Soloist" and more. Then suddenly — after years in supporting roles — she finally scored a major breakthrough with 2011's "The Help," for which she won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Since then, she's been nominated for two more Oscars (for her work in "Hidden Figures" and "The Shape of Water"). She also starred in the "Divergent" franchise, in "Fruitvale Station" and in Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer." The American actress, who can currently be seen on the Apple TV+ drama "Truth Be Told," is no stranger to voice acting thanks to "Dolittle" and "Zootopia."
Mel Rodriguez voices Officer Colt Bronco, a centaur cop who also happens to be Laurel's boyfriend.
You might recognize Mel Rodriguez from his small roles in "Panic Room," "Garfield," "The Terminal," "Little Miss Sunshine" or the recent remake of "Overboard." He also had memorable stints on "House of Payne," "Community" and "Better Call Saul," starred on "The Last Man on Earth" from 2015 to 2018 and headlined the first season of "On Becoming a God in Central Florida" with Kirsten Dunst. If you don't recognize Mel — who has two daughters with wife Desiree Dundr Rodriguez — it might be because he's been on a major weight-loss journey over the past two years.
Lena Waithe voices Officer Specter, a cyclops cop who has the special distinction of being the first openly gay character featured in a Pixar film.
Lena Waithe got her start in production and quickly transitioned to the writing room. She wrote 15 episodes of "Bones" before winning an Emmy in 2017 for writing the "Thanksgiving" episode of "Master of None," on which she also starred. After that, she wrote and produced "Queen & Slim" and created "The Chi," which she writes and executive produces. The multi-hyphenate created two more shows set to debut later this year — "Twenties" and "Boomerang" — and she's set to star on the upcoming third season of "Westworld." On top of all that, Lena appeared on episodes of "Transparent," "This Is Us" and "Dear White People" and starred in the 2018 big-screen adaptation of "Ready Player One." In early 2020, a report claimed she was dating rising star Cynthia Erivo in the wake of her breakup from Alana Mayo after just a few months of marriage, though it hasn't been confirmed.
Ali Wong voices Officer Gore, a faun cop who's Specter's partner on the job.
Stand-up comedian Ali Wong made her feature film debut in 2012's "Savages," though it wasn't until 2019's "Always Be My Maybe" — which she co-wrote and produced — that she had a lead role in a movie. The funnywoman, who served as a consultant and story editor on the first three seasons of "Fresh Off the Boat," had memorable stints on "Breaking In," "Black Box" and "Are You There, Chelsea?" She's starred as Doris on "American Housewife" since 2016 and recently appeared in "Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn." She's also an experienced voice actress: She voiced characters in "The Angry Birds Movie," "The Lego Ninjago Movie" and "Ralph Breaks the Internet." On top of all that, the multi-hyphenate voiced Bertie on the short-lived Netflix cartoon "Tuca & Bertie," which she executive produced. Ali has two daughters with her husband, Justin Hakuta.