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On The Way: The Animated Movie is a 2028 American animated adventure comedy film based on the Fox television series On The Way: The Animated Adventures. The film is directed by Rich Moore, and stars the regular cast of Sean Giambrone, Xavier Mosley, Tucker Albrizzi, Jey Livings, Ariel Winter and Ty Burrell, with the exception of Stephen Tobolowsky, making it his second On The Way film not to appear, although his character does appear, he is silent. The cast is joined along with Kate McKinnon and Seth MacFarlane reprising their roles from the previous film. The film follows Lawrence, who gets ready to leave Corpus to go back to his hometown, but Jake and Gillan try to stop him from leaving. As he boards his bus, they stowaway, unfortunately at their surprise, they took the wrong bus to New York, where escapees Sylvia Marie and Jack Derrin lay low and get revenge on the Boys.

The film was supposed to be the eighth film for two more sequels to the Reel FX film series, but was changed to be the sixth after Mosley had no ideas of what the two others films would be about, then had removed two more of the Reel FX films to make it the fourth.

Plot

The school year has ended at Flower Bluff High, and Sherrie plans her summer party at her house. At the Richard residence, it is the seventeenth birthday of Florence and the Boys and Sherrie are the only guests there. Later on, Lawrence packs his belongings for his return to Prescott, Arizona to reconcile his parents. He informs Jake and Gillan about his priority, in which leads them to become to distraught and convince him to stay, but he resists their attempts. The following month, Gillan, Jake, Florence, the MacLaynes and the high school attendants are out giving their goodbyes to Lawrence. After their goodbyes, his bus arrives. As he boards it, it departs. After the bus leaves, Jake and Gillan are missing from the group, as they, too, have boarded the bus and stowaway on their trip to Prescott. As the bus stops, Lawrence exits, so do Jake and Gillan, much to his surprise. They then discover that they have arrived in New York City. There, escapees Sylvia Marie and Jack Derrin have broken out of jail.

Back in Corpus, Sherrie finds Florence sleeping the Boys' doorstep waiting for Jake and Gillan to come to the door, so she could ask them for some donuts. After a few attempts to come out, including name calling, Sherrie breaks open the door and she and Girls find the duo, only to find a recorded message that Gillan and Jake had stowed away on the bus that Lawrence had boarded to Prescott. Then, Florence's phone rings, and Lawrence is on the line. He explains that he and the duo had taken the bus to New York, as he forgot to say where he wanted to go to the bus driver, so he enlists the Girls to come to New York, but Sherrie declines helping them out of their situation, however, Florence coaxs her to bring them back. However, Later on, the Girls head to New York, as Bertha was heading back there.

In Manhattan, the Boys walk around the city, with Lawrence leading the way with his watch, equipped with tracking mode that has given the Girls' coordinates. The criminals secretly follow their trail in order to and kill them. Later at night, the Girls spend the night to rest and continue in the morning. The next day, Lawrence wakes up to find the duo gone. He then finds them at the top of Rockefeller Center. Up there, they look through skyline binoculars searching down to spot the Girls if they come. He brings them down and is infuriated by their ditching, so he makes them promise to stay by his side, which they do. With the Girls, Bertha parts ways with them, as she only wanted a ride home. As they continue without her, the back of Florence's head bleeps, revealing a tracking chip that was hidden inside of Florence's scrunchy. Sherrie contacts Lawrence about it, and explains that it was to be useful to find Florence one day if she was lost. He then explains that it will guide him and the others to them. Both of them continue driving to find the Boys. Overhearing the conversation, Sylvia and Jack follow the Girls instead, leading them straight to the Boys. Jake and Gillan prank Lawrence into taking a shortcut in the alley, which he declines, however both of them go in. After they do so, gunshots were heard, which makes Lawrence go in to find the laying bodies of his friends, which they both get up and have pranked him for fun. Lawrence then strangles Jake, then Gillan grabs Jake free from Lawrence's grasp. Lawrence is outraged for their ignorant behavior on the whole journey, and blames them for stowing away in the first place, which causes the trio to go their separate ways. After doing so, both Jake and Gillan get captured by Sylvia and Jack. The Girls find Lawrence, and the three learn from a call from Jake's phone that Sylvia and Jack hold the duo for ransom, making Lawrence go back to save them.

Jake and Gillan are being held hostage in a transit bus, stolen by the criminals. They stop at the Brooklyn Bridge to find Lawrence and the Girls. Sherrie holds a bag and approaches to gives it to them. As she does, she knocks Jack out with it, and pins Sylvia down to the floor to give Lawrence time to save the duo. The five teenager flee to the car, after Sherrie puts Sylvia unconscious in the process. However, Jack regains consciousness and goes after the five. Lawrence and Jake ride a moped that was hidden on the other side of the sports car. Jack then chases them down. After losing him, both of them ride up the steps of Guggenheim Museum and make a jump off the roof and plummet, but are saved by Gillan's grapple gun, which Jake had taken after the rescue. He and Lawrence are faced off with Jack, who prepares to shoot them, but is knocks unconscious again by Sherrie. In the aftermath, Sylvia and Jack are arrested by the NYPD, and the Boys reconcile and return home with Florence and Sherrie.

Back in Corpus, Lawrence enters his lab, and goes through a gallery of memories shown on a hologram screen. He then feels guilty for his departure. He later boards his bus after saying goodbye to the people from before. Then another Lawrence steps out of his lab, who is the real Lawrence that had created a clone of himself with all the memories, except the trip to New York, to go back to Prescott rather than his original, so that he could stay in Corpus with his friends. Everyone cheers for Lawrence staying, then he shares a kiss from Florence. Sherrie, who has accepted the Boys as her new friends, invites everyone to her house for a celebration party. Before she catches up, Jake hugs her as for accepting him and his friends. After she and Jake hug, she punches him in the gut, a thing she wanted to do ever since.

Voice cast

Main cast

Edna Benton, Chalmer Phil, and James Quarternuise have silent cameos.

Production

The film was originally to be the eighth film, but became the fourth film, as the Partners in Crime was supposed to be the sequel to Home Save Home in the Reel FX Animation Studios film series, and to have a sequel and two stand-alone sequels, but Home Save Home, Partners in Crime II, and the untitled films were scrapped.

Animation

Toon Boom Harmony, does the film's animation. Creator Xavier Mosley originally wanted to have the film still use the show's flash-animation by Mercury Filmworks.

Music

Christopher Lennertz composes the film's score. In various scenes, actual music such as The Turtles' "Happy Together", David Bowie's "Heroes", Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York", and Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" are used in the film.

Release

Columbia Pictures releases the film on June 9, 2028, as to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the first film in the franchise.

The film is rated PG for "some rude humor and language".

Marketing

Burger King was chosen to promote the film with commercials of Florence as a taste-tester for three Whoppers: the original Whopper, the Double Whopper, and the Whopper Jr., and Jake and Gillan annoy Sherrie, as she is eating. Jimmy Kimmel Live! features an episode with a segment focusing on Lawrence bringing Kimmel to his laboratory via teleporter to interview him, as a promotion to the film and celebration of the 10th anniversary. Hasbro releases a line of action figures of the five characters. Electronic Arts releases On The Way: The Game, to coincide with the film's home release, although the game's plot of is not based on the film.

Home media

The film will released on Digital HD on September 12, 2028, and DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD on October 10, 2028. The DVD contains commentary from the creator and writers, three deleted scenes, a trailer of the video game and galleries of concept art and character posters. The Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD releases include six more deleted scenes and behind the scenes featurettes.

Reception

Critical reception

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 86% based on 127 reviews and an average rating of 8/10. The critical consensus reads: "On The Way: The Animated Movie takes on more heart and less laughs, brings back the road movie genre that started it all, adds in tons of cameos makes several callbacks to the show, and is the most heartwarming sendoff to the trilogy." Metacritic scores the film of 74 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". CinemaScore grades the film an "A–" on an A+ to F scale.

Accolades

On The Way: The Animated Movie wins an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature, Directing in an Animated Feature Production for Rich Moore, and Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production for Jey Livings.

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