Voiced by: Tom Hollandnote
The protagonist of the film.
- Bad Liar: Upon using a spell to disguise himself as Colt, it starts to go wrong after he denies thinking of Barley as a screw-up. However, he becomes better at it when at Raven's Point, letting Colt's guard down so he can escape with Barley in Guinevere.
- Big Brother Worship: Zigzagged. Barley discovers through the disguise spell failing that Ian thinks of him as a screw-up, which hurts him deeply. Ian denies it to him at first, but later he lashes out at Barley for screwing up to his face. Quickly afterwards, he realizes that his brother has been his Parental Substitute the whole time.
- Character Development: At first, he doesn't have a high opinion of Barley, but eventually accepts him as his father figure.
- Cool Loser: Downplayed. Ian's lack of friends in school has less to do him being perceived as a "loser" than his own lack of confidence in actually talking with his classmates. We see that when he finally takes the step of actually trying to invite some classmates to his birthday party, they're actually friendly and interested. It's Ian who abruptly backs out of it because he gets too nervous and embarrassed by his brother's boisterous arrival.
- Dangerous 16th Birthday: The story begins on his 16th birthday, which is when he gets the staff. The botched resurrection spell is what sets off his and his brother's journey.
- Drives Like Crazy: He is taking driving lessons but, due to his very nervous and insecure personality, is afraid to drive on a freeway. When he has to get behind the wheel of the Guinevere to escape the pixie bikers, he ends up driving very recklessly.
- Extreme Doormat: He's not the most assertive guy at the movie's start, being easily guilt-tripped into allowing a troll to take up a significant part of his seat with his feet and not being able to really refuse things. He grows out of this as the movie progresses though and the situation continually forces him to take charge.
- Fat and Skinny: The skinny one to his brother.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He seems to be the more responsible one. In one scene he's going outside to put away the trash, but to his disgust, finds that Barley forgot to put the lid on and thus attracted unicorns.Ian: Nope. It's garbage for the trashcan- and you left the lid off! Ugh!
- In the story itself, Ian actually agrees with others when they call Barley a screw-up, and this leads to at least two of their biggest fights in the film.
- The Gift: Turns out to have the ability to use magic, to his own surprise.
- Nice Guy: More in an Extreme Doormat way at the beginning but, even after becoming more assertive, Ian still remains a polite and friendly guy. He does get angry at his brother when he keeps causing trouble in their quest, but quickly makes up with him.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Most people call him Ian rather than his full name, Iandore.
- Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: He does this a lot when he's put into situations he's not comfortable with, like asking some kids at his school if they wanted to come over for his birthday party. He sweats so much he even starts smearing the ink across his hand and face.
- Primary-Color Champion: A blue-skinned and blue-haired elf who wears blue jeans, red shirt, with a white tee underneath.
- Red Is Heroic: Wears a red shirt throughout most of the film.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Barley's red; he's normally shy and soft-spoken.
- Shrinking Violet: His social awkwardness makes it hard for him to make friends at his high school, even if his classmates are more than willing to let him hang out with them. He eventually does gain more social confidence towards the end and makes friends.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Pictures of his and Barley's father shows Ian took more after him: Round, but noses with a slim face and similar-looking hairstyles.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to his brother's Manly Man. Ian is soft-spoken and shy, while Barley is outgoing and aggressively cheerful.
- Squishy Wizard: He's thin as a stick compared to Barley, but he's also the one who can use magic.
- Took a Level in Badass: As the movie goes on, Ian becomes a more proficient wizard and has better success in casting his spells. Outside of combat, he also becomes a more assertive guy all around.
Voiced by: Chris Prattnote
Ian's older brother.
- Actor Allusion: Chris Pratt once again plays a childish, Large Ham character whose silliness is something of a coping mechanism to deal with their own personal shame of not going into the hospital room to say goodbye when their parental figure was dying from a terminal illness.
- Big Brother Instinct: A goofy dude he is, but he gets serious and protective whenever Ian's life is threatened.
- Born in the Wrong Century: He's obsessed with the long-gone days of adventure, to the point of integrating them into his own life as much as he can.
- Cool Big Bro: Eventually becomes this to Ian.
- Extraverted Nerd: He's a role-playing game geek who is always full of boisterous energy.
- Fan of the Past: As mentioned, he's an expert in the fantastical history of the Onward world.
- Fat and Skinny: He is larger and more stocky-built compared to his brother.
- Fearless Fool: He shows no fear in a lot of situations they run into and he tends to jumps headfirst without much thought. Becomes more tragic when we find out the reason why he's like this is because when he was younger he didn't say goodbye to his father because the sight of Wilden hooked to life support scared him from going into the hospital room, and his shame over this led him to decide to never be afraid of anything again.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish sibling to Ian's responsible. He becomes heartbroken when he finds out Ian agrees with everyone else that he thinks his brother is a screw-up.
- Genre Savvy: Played with. Barley is a fan of high fantasy and folklore (especially role playing games) but it's not a genre for storytelling because in his world magic and fantasy creatures really do exist so his knowledge is actually more historical.
- Helium Speech: At one point, Ian accidentally shrinks him, resulting in his voice becoming more higher-pitched.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: At one point, a spell cast by Ian meant to enlarge a gasoline can ends up backfiring and shrinking Barley instead. He even gets hit by Helium Speech during this moment.
- Large Ham: The way he speaks has him sound like this.Barley: We are going on a grand and glorious quest!
- Metalhead: From the Thrash Metal style "battle vest" he always wears to the soaring sounds of Power Metal coming from his van when he's picking up his brother from school, he seems to be a shoe-in for this much like more than a few RPG nerds from our own world.
- The Mentor: As his Tabletop RPG is based on In-Universe history, he's able to teach Ian magic without being able to himself.
- Muggle with a Degree in Magic: Barley has an encyclopedic knowledge of magic from his "Quest Of Yore" games (which are based on historical events) and is able to easily figure out how to make magical spells work, but he lacks the gift of magic so he can't use it himself. Once he finds out Ian does have the gift of magic, Barley immediately decides to become his younger brother's magical mentor.
- The Millstone: Due to his Fearless Fool attitude he's often the cause of a number of the movie's problems, causing the resurrection spell to fail in the first place, distracting Ian while he's trying to use the growth spell, pissing off the pixies and sparking a chase, and more. A number of people in town think he's a screw-up, for good reason.
- NEET: He's 19, has no job, lives with his mom and brother, and spends his days playing "Quests of Yore" or protesting the destruction of historical sites. Subverted when his mom mentions that he's doing a gap year.
- Nice Guy: A very kind and fun-loving guy who is nothing but loving and supportive towards his little brother.
- Nice Hat: Barley wears a black knit cap.
- No Indoor Voice: So far, he usually speaks in a very loud voice and doesn't seem to know how to lower that volume.
- Parental Substitute: As Ian wallows in despair that he won't be able to spend any time with his dad, he marks off his checklist and realizes, although he never had his dad with him, Barley was always there and actually went through a lot of the checklist that Ian wanted to do with their dad during their journey to get the second Phoenix Gem.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Ian's blue; he's more hyperactive and brash.
- Sad Clown: Underneath his bold and hammy personality, he harbors a lot of guilt over not saying goodbye to his dad and has never been able to fully accept his death because of it.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to his brother's Sensitive Guy. Ian is soft-spoken and shy, while Barley is outgoing and aggressively cheerful.
- Soapbox Sadie : A rare male example, he spends his time protesting against the destruction of historical sites
- Strong Family Resemblance: Between him and Ian, it's Barley who takes after their mother the most. They have similar facial structures and body types.
Voiced by: Kyle Bornheimernote
Ian and Barley's late father. He left them a staff and a spell he wrote for when they were above 16 so that they could bring him back from the dead for a day.
- Disappeared Dad: He died when Barley was really young and before Ian was born from an unspecified terminal disease. The brothers' goal is to bring him back so they can have a day to spend with him.
- Extraverted Nerd: According to everybody who knew him when he was alive, Wilden was a very socially-confident person who always attracted people's attention whenever he walked into a room and he unashamedly wore ugly purple socks every day just because he liked them. However, according to Laurel, who met Wilden when both of them were around Ian's age, it took him a while to become the self-confident person he was.
- The Gift: He passed the gift for magic to his son. It's implied by Laurel's comment about how Wilden started doing strange things by the end of his life that he only discovered his own gift after getting his illness, while he was looking some way to stay with his family.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Thanks to Ian botching up the resurrection spell, the only thing left of him is his legs.
- Nice Guy: He was well-known for his kindness.
- Posthumous Character: Played With. He died from a terminal illness when Barley was a toddler and Laurel was pregnant with Ian, but he wrote a Visitation Spell before he passed away in the hope that his sons could bring him back to life for a day and give him a chance to see for himself who they grew up to be.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: He had a pretty prominent pair of glasses, is a college graduate and became an accountant. He was also able to create a spell that allowed his sons to resurrect him for a day.
- Sucks at Dancing: Both Ian and Barley note that he's a terrible dancer, but in fitting with his Extraverted Nerd nature, he's so enthusiastic said dancing is downright infectuous.
Voiced by: Julia Louis-Dreyfusnote
Ian and Barley's mother.
- Acrofatic: She has quite the maternal weight on her, but that doesnt slow her down while facing the dragon, including climbing across it. All that fitness training paid off well.
- Alliterative Name: Laurel Lightfoot.
- Big Beautiful Woman: She's got a plump, yet curvy figure.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Her hair used to be long and curled before her husband's death. In the present day, her hair is instead in a pixie cut.
- Glamorous Single Mother: Despite losing her husband when Barley was young and before Ian was born, she doesn't seem to be having a tough time raising them.
- Glasses Pull: She pulls off her glasses when she decides to take on the dragon in the climax.
- Good Parents: She's cheerful, warm and caring, and very understanding towards her sons and their respective quirks.
- Hartman Hips: She has a large, plump bottom, especially when she exercises in the opening of the film.
- Interspecies Romance: An elf who is dating Officer Bronco, a centaur.
- Mama Bear: When Corey is injured fighting the dragon, she picks up Corey's sword and goes after it herself to give Ian and Barley time to meet their dad.
- Meganekko: She wears glasses and is quite attractive.
- Parent with New Paramour: She's dating officer Bronco, which the boys aren't overly enthused by, but they do warm up to him by the end.
The Lightfoots' pet dragon.
- All Animals Are Dogs: In her appearance in the first trailer, she acts just like an excited dog, wagging her tail and licking Ian's face.
- Meaningful Name: Since Blazey is a dragon that breathes fire, this is a very apt name.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She first appeared in Toy Story 4 on the Dragon Zone logo.
Voiced by: Octavia Spencernote
A manticore who was once a legendary adventurer. She has retired following the decline of magic, transforming her tavern into a family restaurant. But when Ian and Barley arrive seeking help to find a phoenix gem, she begins to rediscover her old adventurous spirit.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Her tail has a paralytic venom in it.
- Be Yourself: After untold years as a harried, miserable fast food manager she finds happiness again when she rediscovers her true adventurous self.
- BFS: Her Cursecrusher sword, which breaks curses. It's proportionate to her size, so in the hands of Laurel it's enormous.
- Bilingual Dialogue: Is fluent in goblin language, though she speaks English while her goblin employee speaks goblin.
- Breath Weapon: She can breathe fire.
- A Dog Named "Dog": She is a manticore named The Manticore.
- Easily Forgiven: She gets let off pretty easy it seems, considering that she not only went on a rampage in her own restaurant tearing and burning it down, but additionally endangering the lives of both her employees and customers. This extends when children were inside as well.
- Flight: She can do this, but she's a bit out of practice.
- Gender-Blender Name: "Corey" is typically a male name. Although in this case, it's short for "Manticore."
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Before she returned to her old self, Corey wore a pair of black-framed glasses.
- Hollywood Mid-Life Crisis: A short talk with the main characters has her snap and realize that she is a shadow of her former self. She burns down her restaurant and goes on a quest to warn the brothers about a curse.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Once a legendary adventurer, and currently the head of a family restaurant. In the end, she gets back to her old ways, but still runs her tavern.
- A Lizard Named "Liz": She's a manticore nicknamed Corey.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- Proclaims this upon realizing that she's betrayed herself by settling down from her life of adventure.
- And then when she realizes told she the boys about the map and the gem, but she forgot to mention the curse.
- Nice Girl: Once she gets her act together, The Manticore is a noble woman who goes above and beyond the call of duty to help two boys she barely knows.
- Quest Giver: Her old job was giving out maps to rare artifacts that she knew of.
- Really 700 Years Old: Said to be over 1000 years old, but that's middle-aged for a manticore. She was alive when magic was still widely used.
- Retired Badass: She used to be a badass adventurer, but has since settled down to run a tourist trap eatery.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Her restaurateur outfit initially has sleeves, but she rips them off while explaining the curse to Laurel and remains sleeveless for the rest of the adventure. Bonus points in that her newly exposed upper arms reveal several bad-ass tattoos made on and through her fur.
- Species Surname: Her name is "The Manticore".
- Storyboard Body: When she is explaining the Phoenix Gem Guardian Curse to Laurel, she reveals tattoos on her upper arms that illustrate her story. On her left arm are four tattoos with the largest showing how the curse has a central core of power that will assume the form of a mighty beast. Her right arm has five tattoos with the largest being her Curse Crusher sword that can be used to destroy the core.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: She might have wanted to remodel the place, but she probably didn't plan to burn it down.
- What Have I Become?: Says this trope word-for-word upon realizing how much she misses her old adventurous life.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Her given name is literally "The", so she goes by Corey now.
- You Wanna Get Sued?: She doesn't, so she stopped giving out dangerous quests.
Voiced by: Mel Rodrigueznote
A strict Centaur police officer who is dating Laurel and sets out to find her sons.
- Annoying Laugh: His laugh is reminiscent of a horse whinny.
- Be Yourself: Although he has an interest in exercise, he apparently eschewed running in favor of using his vehicle. He's clearly very happy when the boys' adventure inspires him to explore his half-horse nature and run like the wind.
- Compressed Hair: Underneath his police cap is a long mane of thick, majestic hair.
- Furry Reminder: As a quick gag instead of counting verbally he uses hoof stomps.
- Good Stepmother: Gender inverted. He loves Laurel, and genuinely cares about the happiness and well-being of Ian and Barley.
- Hero Antagonist: He may be an obstacle in the brothers' quest, but he's only trying to take them home because both he and their mother are genuinely worried about their safety.
- Interspecies Romance: A centaur who is dating Laurel, an elf.
- A Lizard Named "Liz": He's a centaur (i.e. a half-horse creature) whose first and last name are both horse-related ("colt" means a young male horse and "bronco" means a feral horse).
- Nice Guy: Overall, he's not a bad guy, and he tries to act as a good father-figure for the boys who are initially uncomfortable with him but they do get along by the end. He even goes searching for Ian and Barley because he knew Laurel would be worried sick about where they were.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: He is a police officer in Little Mushroomtown.
Voiced by: Lena WaithenoteA cyclops and fellow police officer to Colt.
- Advertised Extra: She gained a significant amount of attention in the promotional material despite being a minor character with only a few lines.
- Birds of a Feather: A platonic example—she's one of Colt's fellow police officers in Little Mushroomtown and is empathetic to Colt's difficulties bonding with Laurel's sons, because she's going through the same thing with her girlfriend's daughter.
- Cyclops: She is one.
- Straight Gay: Specter's a female police who offhandedly mentions having a girlfriend, but other than that, you'd never guess that she was a lesbian.
Voiced by: Ali WongnoteA satyr who is another fellow officer of Colt.
- Fauns and Satyrs: Is the latter. More responsible than most given she is a police officer, but her rotund figure and pride in being single do hint at the satyrs characteristic hedonistic tendencies.
- Small Role, Big Impact: She only appears for a very short while, but her comments on Barley being a screw-up trigger the first serious argument between the brothers and have lasting ramifications for the rest of the movie.