What exactly does a “Head of Story” do? Especially at a place like Pixar which is legendary for its deep, enriching, and imaginative stories that take audiences deep into the sea, inside the mind of an adolescent girl, or into the lives of our favorite toys. That daunting job title belonged to Kelsey Mann as he worked on Pixar’s latest film, the magical roadtrip adventure Onward, and he spoke with me and RogerEbert.com’s Nell Minow all about it.
Onward features the voices of Marvel vets Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as elf brothers Ian and Barley, who live in a world where magic has disappeared due to modern technological conveniences. The siblings embark on a dangerous journey to finish a magic spell that will let them reunite with their deceased father, who is along on the trip…sorta. The film was directed by Dan Scanlon, who Mann previously worked with on Monsters University.
Mann goes in-depth on what a movie production at Pixar is really like, how they came up with the D&D-inspired magical rules for Ian and Barley’s world, and much more. You can listen to our interview with Mann below, and find my review of Onward here!
*NOTE: I apologize for some of the audio issues and will make sure to get them sorted out in the future. Thanks for understanding!