Grade: A… Pixar’s Onward is a magical quest that is very much worthy of your time.
Over the years, Pixar has given us many buddy adventure movies to help fuel our imaginations. From Buzz and Woody in Toy Story to Dory and Nemo from Finding Nemo, Pixar has a knack for putting their audience in a front row seat for a massive adventure. What kid has ever dreamt up a dangerous and thrilling adventure to embark on with a best friend while creating an embellished map of their neighborhood?
One of the most powerful nations in existence is the imagination and Pixar has mastered the craft of getting its fans to use their unique imagination. Pixar’s latest release, Onward, is no different than the magical and classic stories that have been given to moviegoers in the past.
Onward takes you on a quest with two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot. Ian, who turns 16, yearns to have a relationship with his late father. When Ian receives a magical staff from his father (given to him by his mother once both boys were older than 16), Barley realizes that Ian has the ability to cast magical spells. As a late gift from their father, the staff has access to a visitation spell that will bring back their father for twenty-four hours. In order to properly cast the spell, the staff needs the phoenix gem hidden in the mountains surrounding the suburban town.
In Onward, Tom Holland voices Ian and Chris Pratt voices his older brother, Barley. Ian, being younger, naturally lacks a few experiences and skills that Barley has and they work well together on their wild and emotional quest to bring their father back from the dead. The brothers actually do bring their father with them on the quest, but only half of their father was able to be summoned. It made for a “Weekend at Bernie’s”-esque comedy storyline because Ian puts a stuffed hoodie with glasses on top of their dad’s lower half. The kids end up dancing with their father and other funny bits I don’t want to give away. It was accomplished very creatively.
The filmmakers’ goal was to blend fantasy with reality at all times. Due to the incredible and beautiful animation, you will see lifelike items mixed in with fantasy items throughout the hour and forty-two minute runtime. I really enjoyed seeing some real-world ideas and areas transported into a fantasy world. One vague example being a mythical creature’s lair turned into a fun family restaurant similar to Chuck E. Cheese.
The animation and bright colors of Onward really bring the elf town to life. The attention to details in the movie were incredible. If you look closely enough, you will notice small details that will make you laugh and bring a smile to your face. Experiencing the movie in a Dolby Cinema theater completely added to the experience and it is highly recommended if you have access to a Dolby Cinema theater.
Definitely grab a few of your best friends and embark on the quest to see Onward. It might inspire you to believe in magic a bit more and it will definitely teach you to use your “heart’s fire” in life!