Suburbia can be mundane even in a fantasy world.
So in Disney-Pixar’s upcoming film Onward, two elf brothers voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, “go out on an adventure to see if there’s a little magic left in that world,” director and writer Dan Scanlon tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
PEOPLE’s exclusive first look at the animated movie shows Pratt, 39, as the boisterous older brother, Holland, 22, as the gawky, more reserved younger sibling and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the teens’ mom.
“Tom Holland is perfect for our character of Ian, the younger brother,” Scanlon, who also wrote and directed Monster’s University, says. “We were looking for someone who could have this shy quality and someone who is good at being a little awkward. And Tom is great at that! And yet has a genuine sweetness to him that you really root for him.”
For Pratt’s character, “We wanted someone who was the exact opposite of that,” Scanlon, 42, explains. “Someone who could be wild and chaotic and out of control, but in a very charming and infectious way. And Chris Pratt is perfect for that. He has this ability to be both sort of wild and out of control but in a really lovable, fun, infectious way.”
The Avengers alums even got to do some recording sessions together. “They are clearly friends,” Scanlon says of Pratt and Holland. “They’ve worked together before and hung out together. It was fun to sit back and watch them make each other laugh.”
Scanlon promises Onward will bring the laughs, too, but like its fellow Disney-Pixar films, he expects it will also connect emotionally.
“I absolutely hope that people are laughing their heads off and crying their eyes out,” he says. “My hope is some of the questions that I’m asking in the film will be questions other people are asking about their own lives. And I think that’s what a lot of the times gets us to connect to a movie.”
Onward, also starring Octavia Spencer, will open on March 6, 2020.