Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae on Losing and Appreciating Those Who Are Still Here – Deadline

For their Oscar nominated animated feature Forward, director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae wanted to tell a story of personal loss and an appreciation for what you still have.

Forward follows two brothers, Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) Lightfoot, as they discover a magical spell that allows them to bring their father back to life for a day. “My brother and I never knew my father,” Scanlon says, “and I always wonder who he was and how we were like him. This led to this idea of ​​“what if you could spend a day with someone you’ve lost”, which sounded like a universal desire for all of us. “

After the spell turns sour and they only bring back their father’s bottom half, the brothers set out in search of the last item needed to bring him back completely, before their time with him is up. Along the way, Ian comes to appreciate the family he still has. “It’s about dealing with the loss,” Rae adds, “but it’s also about those people around you who have helped you, supported you throughout your life and helped create your existence. . “

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“Appreciate the people in your life who went above and beyond what was required of them to make you the person you are today,” says Scanlon.

It took Scanlon and Rae a while to come up with the concept of a modern fantasy world. “He went through a lot of machinations,” says Rae, “and so there were versions of the story where the boys were scientists or something. It’s not like we walked out the door and said, ‘Oh yeah, they’re elves and they live in a modern fantasy world.’ “

This may be due to their lack of prior experience with the fantasy genre. “It wasn’t really a genre that we were both great at,” Scanlon says, “and I think it was kind of fun. I hope you do it from a slightly different perspective than people who do. are shooting a movie in a certain genre that they were already a big fan of. Luckily we had tons of people on the team who were really into fantasy, really into role-playing games, and they educated us. the fun of making that movie. Suddenly you find yourself making a kind of movie that you never dreamed of to tell a specific story. “

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