- Acclaimed Flop: Zig-zagged. The film received great reviews from critics and audiences, with its Rotten Tomatoes scores being 87% and 95% respectively. Unfortunately, it had the bad luck of being released during the rise of the COVID-19 Pandemic which forced an abbreviated theatrical release which did pull in $140 million worldwide. It was quickly shifted to digital download only two weeks after its theatrical release and then onto Disney+ two weeks after that. While its raw earnings were definitely impacted, it was acknowledged during award season and nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscar so its status as a flop is debatable.
- Banned in China: Onward experienced some international censorship due to the fact of the minor character Specter being a lesbian. The movie was outright banned in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, though it was still legally screened in several other countries with a large Muslim/Arab population, such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Meanwhile in Russia, the local dub altered Specter's dialogue to remove any mention of homosexuality, due to a Russian law which prohibits any "pro-gay propaganda" in children's media.
- Completely Different Title: It's called 2分の1の魔法 in Japanese and ½的魔法 in Chinese (both meaning "One-Half Magic"), Unidos ("United") in Latin America, and Dois Irmãos - Uma Jornada Fantástica ("Two Brothers - A Fantastic Journey") in Brazilian Portuguese.
- Descended Creator: Director Dan Scanlon voices the fitness instructor on Laurel's workout video.
- Defictionalization: Barley's copy of Quests of Yore is set to be real, courtesy of USAopoly.
- Directed by Cast Member: In the Latin American Spanish dub, Ricardo Tejedo is the ADR director and Wilden's voice actor.
- Fake American: British actor Tom Holland fakes an American accent once again as Ian.
- Irony as She Is Cast: In one scene, Barley and Ian's father's legs help them make up by encouraging them to dance along. When he tries to pull Ian over, Ian repeatedly says that he isn't a very good dancer. His voice actor, Tom Holland, is actually a talented ballet/hip hop dancer; in fact, his acting career began as the titular character of West End's Billy Elliot the Musical.
- Queer Character, Queer Actor: Openly lesbian Lena Waithe provides the voice for Specter, a cyclops cop who passingly mentions having a girlfriend.
- Relationship Voice Actor: Ian and Barley are Spider-Man and Star-Lord.
- Release Date Change: With its box office numbers compromised by the coronavirus pandemic, the film was released digitally after just two weeks, and to Disney+ two weeks after that, far sooner than under normal circumstances.
- In Italy the movie was initially pushed forward from March 5 to April 16, but as the pandemic forced theaters to lockdown it was put on a hiatus. In mid-June, after the announcement of theaters reopening, it was finally decided to release it on July 22. It ended up being released in theaters on August 19.
- Special Thanks: To Wizards of the Coast, because the film used elements from and two monsters of Dungeons & Dragons (the gelatinous cube and the beholder).
- Throw It In: Specter's line about her girlfriend's daughter was improvised by Lena Waithe, who asked if she could switch the line from "husband" to "girlfriend".
- Voices in One Room: Tom Holland and Chris Pratt did some recording sessions together.
- What Could Have Been:
- An early draft of the movie focused on two young scientists trying to bring their father back to life piece by piece. He was trying to invent something that could allow someone to communicate with the dead, but he ended up dying instead.
- Early storyboards had a tritagonist character, a teenage saytr waitress at the Manticore's tavern named Genevieve who went by Jenny for short. She appears in three deleted storyboard scenes. One where she saves Ian from the fire at the tavern and then begs to join Ian and Barley on their quest, another she and the boys go have to through a Labyrinth which was turned into a shopping mall and the third one where Ian and Jenny come across a trio of sirens who are now real estate agents and hypnotise the two kids into staying in one of their houses. However she was dropped as story development continued because she drew focus away from the brothers' relationship and their bonding during the quest.
- In a deleted scene involving Jenny and the Tavern fire, she uses male pronouns to describe the Manticore suggesting that the character was male at some point in the development process.
- In a behind the scenes interview, Story Supervisor Kelsey Mann revealed several signficant changes that occurred as the story went through Pixar's internal screening process.
- An early version had Ian as the brother obsessed with magic instead of Barley. Their father was a great wizard and Ian wanted to bring him back to learn about his magic abilities so he could become a great wizard too. The story team realized this made Ian's motivation purely selfish and replaced it with his desire to know a father that died before his birth.
- The movie originally included a villain, who guarded the gem, but they could never come up with a satisfactory reason for why the villain would do this given the "technology replaces magic" premise which led the story team to realize they didn't need a villain for the film.
- Officers Specter and Gore were originally two male police officers, but changed to females when the story team decided that they wanted the film to be more diverse and balanced.
- Write What You Know: Like Ian, director Dan Scanlon never knew his father, and was inspired to write this story after he and his older brother discovered a recording their father made before his death.
Trivia / Onward