Dan Scanlon, director of the new Pixar film Onward, shares the five sibling movies that mean the most to him.
It's about this star boxer Mickey (played by Mark Walberg), that you can tell got there by looking up to his big brother, Dicky (played by Christian Bale). What I love about the movie is that, even though Dicky is clearly no longer someone that the rest of the world looks up to—and even Micky himself is aware that his big brother's become a mess and has made a lot of mistakes over the last few years—you still get a sense that he looks up to his brother as the hero. I love that you can't really take that initial admiration of an older sibling away, no matter how you and your sibling may change, or grow apart. It's still possible to find what you loved about each other if you put the work in. And there's just something so sweet and moving about that.
I have to admit I've only seen the Greta Gerwig version, but I loved it. I love that, even though the sisters in the movie have conflict, it really is one of those rare siblings movies that just shows the joy of being a sibling. It shows the comfort that they all have being a part of, what feels at times, like an exclusive club. It’s a good reminder that when you're growing up, your sibling, however many you have, they're the first community you're really a part of. And there's something really special about that.
It’s a story about the patience that an older sibling has in dealing with her less mature younger sibling, which is such a beautiful grace that some older siblings have. What I love particularly about this movie is it comes to a true competition at the end, and I love that neither sister pulls their punches. They both give each other the respect of truly challenging one another to do their best.
It's just a classic movie about how siblings can be different. What I love about "Rain Man" is that it's a movie where the younger brother is taking care of the older brother, and I think that that happens more often than you think. I love that sometimes it is the younger sibling helping out the older sibling. It just shows the beauty of when the roles get reversed.
It's a movie that people mentioned a lot to me when we were working on “Onward,” but I didn't actually watch it until recently and I can see why they brought it up. It’s a documentary about a band called The National going on tour. The older brother is this rock star in that everyone looks up to and admires, and he brings his younger brother along to be, essentially, a roadie on the tour. His younger brother is a free spirit and a mess and a sweetheart, but he causes trouble. It’s just a beautiful movie about how siblings can be different and, more importantly, how difficult it can be to find a place for them in your adult life, and how to grow up with them.