- “"You have to take risks in life to have an adventure"”
- ―An old quote from the Manticore shown below a portrait at her tavern
Corey the Manticore is a major character in the 2020 Disney/Pixar animated feature film, Onward. She is a manticore restaurant owner who the Lightfoot Brothers (Ian and Barley) go to for help on their quest.
THE MANTICORE (COREY) is at least a thousand years old, but that’s just middle-aged for her species. Part lion, part bat and part scorpion, the Manticore was once a fearless warrior and proprietor of a dark and mysterious tavern that served as a waystation for travelers embarking on epic quests. But as modern conveniences replaced magic and any need for quests, the Manticore tapped her practical side, transforming her tavern into a family-friendly restaurant with family-friendly games and fried foods aplenty. She may not realize it, but her adventurous spirit still lurks within.
Centuries ago, Corey, known simply as 'The Manticore', was a fearless adventurer known throughout the land by many intrepid explorers, warriors, and wizards. She opened up her own tavern, where she would help aspiring adventurers to get started in undertaking dangerous quests.
Eventually, like the rest of the world as it forgot magic in favor of technological conveniences, The Manticore, later going by the name Corey, turned her Tavern into a fantasy medieval-themed family restaurant and forgot her passion and love for adventuring as she settled into the modern world as an uptight business-owner, finding herself caught up in investors, payroll, ect. At some point, she sold her personal sword, The Curse Crusher, to a pawn shop in order to take care of financial issues.
When she first appears in the film, Corey is an uptight, overworked and somewhat flustered restaurant owner, who is concerned with her business and curt with those around her as she tries to keep things running smoothly.
After Ian reinvigorates her passion for adventure, she returns to her former reputation of being brave, daring, dramatic, and not afraid to risk life and limb to have a great adventure.
Role in the film
Corey first appears at her tavern, when Ian and Barley Lightfoot seek her for guidance to find a new Phoenix Gem in order to complete a spell that will bring back their father. Corey bursts out of the kitchen with several orders and lets some of her employees take them to their customers. Barley asks for a map to the gem and she offers them a children's menu inspired by one of her old maps. When Barley requests a real map, Corey gestures to one mounted on a wall of artifacts. She snatches it back when Barley takes it out and refuses to send them on their way, stating that she no longer sent people on dangerous quests. Just then, Corey has to go fix the karaoke machine, keeping the map with her. doesn't want to be liable for anything happening to them. Ian timidly confronts Corey and tries to explain how much this quest means to him. She interrupts the elf and says she can't risk the boys getting hurt on this quest, or she may get sued and lose the tavern. As the argument goes on, Corey says one doesn't have to take risks to have an adventure, to which Ian points out a quote above a portrait that says otherwise- said by the great warrior herself. She is reminded of her own glory days in such a way that she looks around her business as though she were waking to a nightmare and realizes she does not like the person she had become. Suddenly experiencing something of a mid-life crisis, she viciously tackles a costumed mascot and scorches the severed "head" with her fire breath. She then throws it and drives the customers away for "remodeling", trashing the place as the charred mascot head sets everything on fire.
Later, after the emergency responders arrive, Corey calms down and explains what started the situation to some cops. Laurel, the mother of the brothers, appears and pleads for more information on what happened to her sons to which the Manticore calmly explains that she sent them on a quest, but suddenly remembers something; she forgot to tell them about a curse regarding the gem they were seeking! Laurel cleverly takes Corey to the mother's car and they set off to find her sons. Later, The Manticore says she could fly them, but she has neglected to do her wing exercises due to not having enough space. Laurel anxiously asks what this curse is and, tearing off a sleeve to reveal a large tattoo, Corey explains that the curse would activate should the gem be removed from its hiding place and summon up a dragon-like beast and the only way to destroy it was with her sword, the Curse Crusher. Unfortunately, she'd sold it to a pawn shop owner, giving Laurel no choice but to make a stop there.
Once they get to the pawn shop, The Manticore is overjoyed to see her old weapon again. Due to muttering to herself about Curse Crusher being one of a kind and forged from rare metals, the pawn shop opener Grecklin charges a huge amount of money for it. Laurel tries to reason with her, but from out of nowhere, Corey stings Grecklin with her stinger, temporarily paralyzing her, and they make off with the sword though Laurel does pay some money for it. Continuing their journey to find Laurel's sons, Laurel tells her boyfriend, Colt Bronco where the boys are headed while Corey ramps herself up on numerous energy drinks. Suddenly, they accidentally drive off-road when one of the members of the Pixie Dusters crashes onto the windshield, wrecking Laurel's car. Laurel then convinces Corey to "try exercising those wings".
With Laurel on her back, her sword in hand, the women burst onto the scene when Ian and Barley are being attacked by the artificial curse dragon. Corey bravely cuts off the stone dragon's wings and charges toward its core but is knocked down and rendered unable to move due to a back injury. Laurel took up Curse Crusher and continued the battle to aid her son, Ian, who wielded magic with his father's wizard staff. Working together, Laurel and her son slew the dragon sculpture, saving everyone.
Later during the epilogue, Corey returned to her tavern and had a grand re-opening, this time keeping true to herself as an adventurer while still making her place of business fun and exciting for whole families. She is last mentioned by Laurel, who is planning on meeting her "for a night out."
Powers and Abilities
- Fire Breath: Atypical of Manticores, she possesses the ability to breathe fire.
- Flight: She is capable of flight.
- Strength: She is strong enough to carry anyone on her while flying.
- Paralyzing venom: Having a scorpion tail, Corey can sting her victims. When stung, the victims are temporarily paralyzed by the venom in her stinger.
- Corey's name may have been derived from the name of her own species (manticore).
- Despite being a manticore, she is depicted with an actual lion's head instead of a man's head (one of the common characteristics of a manticore in mythology), although she is bipedal, wears clothes, and can speak like humans. Like in modern depictions, Corey is depicted with wings and horns despite the historical records mentioning the manticore did not have horns. She is also able to breathe fire which is not characteristic of manticores.
- In Persian mythology, the manticore is said to by ny unconquerable and able to eat any animal except for elephants for some unknown reason. They can also imitate the sound of a trumpet and typically eat everything their human prey has on them, leaving nothing behind.
- Corey is Octavia Spencer's second role in an animated film, after having previously voiced Mrs. Otterton in the 2016 Disney animated film Zootopia.
- Corey is 1,000 years old, but according to official material, this is only middle-aged for her species.