If it’s Onward deleted scenes you seek, then today is your special treat. This past week, in celebration of Onward now streaming on Disney+ several deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes notes from the director, were released, from unseen new characters to a more confident Ian, the scenes showcase almost a completely different film.
Take a look at the four deleted scenes below and be sure to watch Onward on Disney+ and dive into even more special features from the film
“In early versions of the film, the brothers were going on this adventure not only with half of dad but also a character named Jenny,” Scanlon tells EW. “She was a satyr who was super into fantasy.” The story makes a pitstop at the Manticore’s Tavern, so the brothers can acquire a map to the Phoenix Gem from the titular manticore (voiced by Octavia Spencer). Jenny, Scanlon continues, was meant to be “a waitress at the Manticore’s Tavern who they pick up along the way. She was someone who was gonna help them on their journey. She was a great character that we loved: super boisterous and a complete fantasy enthusiast.”
The scene, which was boarded by the talented Maddie Sharafian showcases Ian, Barley, and Jenny after getting lost and stumbling into sirens. Playing with how the world has evolved from magic, the sirens have become real-estate agents using their hypnotic song to trick people into purchasing timeshares. While the idea of the siren creatures does add to the magical world of Onward, we tend to think that sirens more align with Pirates and ocean themes than elves and manticores. Watch the EW exclusive clip on their website.
After showing our son this deleted scene, he said that it was too scary and kept asking if they (the sirens) were “bad guys”. This may help explain why the scene was ultimately scrapped, “These characters are out for blood and pretty much out to kill these kids,” the director explains. “We realized, ‘Well, that’s crazy. Why would they be out to do that?’ So, it was a lesson learned when we realized a lot of our danger had to come from situations rather than people with bad intentions.”
As for the removal of the character Jenny, “We wanted it to be a story about these two brothers not getting along, and having this third character really kept the brothers from arguing and talking to each other,” Scanlon notes. “But that said, I’m really glad folks will really get to see the fun of Jenny.” (as you can see in the deleted scene “Partnership” below)
If you thought Barley was ecstatic about his role-playing abilities and all things magical — enter Genevieve (or Jenny for short). This feisty waitress from The Manticore’s Tavern meets the trio of Ian, Barley, and Dad, as she helps them out of the burning restaurant and presents them with the map to the Pheonix Gem. You can see more art and development of Jenny in The Art of Onward book.
While we do not know an exact timeline in which the film shifted gears away from this scene, it appears that The Manticore was originally going to be a male character as Jenny noted from her dialogue (you can also see many variations of The Manticore in The Art of Onward book). This made us wonder if the removal of Jenny, helped guide the team to create a larger storyline for The Manticore, what do you think?
Be prepared to shed some tears in this next scene. In the deleted scene titled, Unstoppable. Ian and Barley sit with their mom as they watch an old VHS tape that features their father doing magic wearing his classic purple socks. As a young Ian watches wide-eyed his mom shares that their father was the last wizard. Which prompts Ian to say “I’m going to be a wizard just like my dad.”
In a Yahoo exclusive, director Dan Scanlon shares the deleted scene titled, Training. This deleted scene gives us a glimpse into a slightly different storyline of Onward with Ian putting his spell-casting abilities to the test in the first act. That’s right, it appears that just as in the deleted scene titled, Unstoppable, that it was Ian who wanted to be a wizard and not Barley! This scene also seems to coincide with the other deleted scene titled, Unstoppable.
“In this version of the movie, Ian wanted to be a wizard from the very beginning of the film, and it was actually Barley who was kind of indifferent to magic,” Scanlon reveals. “Barley was still into metal and rock, and still a screw-up, but it was Ian who really wanted to figure out how to do real magic based on all the book learning he’d done over the years. Barley just came along to help him not get caught doing, because this was also a version of the story where magic was looked down upon and they didn’t want their mom finding out they were doing it. It led to this really fun sequence of Ian slowly getting his powers and Barley getting more invested in that.”
Those changes to the storyline are often the result of notes from fellow filmmakers within the studio during screenings throughout the development of the film. Scanlon noted, “We do about nine screenings of the movie internally using storyboards to get notes from our fellow filmmakers…one of the things we noticed is that by the end of this scene, Ian seemed to be a pretty powerful wizard. That hurt the rest of the movie because Ian already knew how to do this magic throughout the course of the quest, so there wasn’t really a lot of conflict. In that moment, we realized that his training should be the movie — not just a sequence or a montage. The movie should be about Ian growing.”
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Onward is now available for streaming on Disney+ and is available to purchase digitally.