The Disney/Pixar film -- the first in the studio's history to be gay-inclusive -- will be available Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern in the United States digitally and on Movies Anywhere. It will also premiere April 3 on Disney+, the company's new streaming app.
Onward came out in theaters on March 6, but the global health crisis has shuttered most movie theaters. As a result, Disney decided to offer the digital release of the film ahead of schedule.
"While we're looking forward to audiences enjoying our films on the big screen again soon, given the current circumstances, we are pleased to release this fun, adventurous film to digital platforms early for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes," said director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae.
Onward, a new fantasy Pixar film about young elves (Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) who discover a wizard's staff, features a lesbian character: Officer Specter, a cyclops cop played by out actor Lena Waithe. The queer identity of Specter is confirmed by a line of casual dialogue. "My girlfriend's daughter got me pulling my hair out," a sympathetic Specter tells a driver she pulled over, who was stressed by the behavior of his girlfriend's sons.
One Million Moms boycotted the film as a result of the inclusion. However, The Advocate's digital editor in chief, Neal Broverman, bemoaned that "Pixar still has to tip-toe around the issue in 2020" in a recent commentary piece.