Onward is a 2020 American computer-animated urban fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. The film is directed by Dan Scanlon, produced by Kori Rae from a screenplay written by Scanlon, Jason Headley, and Keith Bunin, and stars the voices of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Octavia Spencer. Set in a suburban fantasy world, the film follows two elf brothers who set out on a quest to find a spell that will bring back their deceased father.
Release Date: Out Now
Eurgh, Pixar how do you do this every time. Onward has all the hallmarks of a hard sell to reach audiences. The trailers show a magical world where two brothers and half of their father go on a wild adventure to find a magical gem to be reunited fully with their Dad for one day.
Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) has just turned 16 and with that comes a bit of an existential crisis. Just who is he? Who is he compared to his father who died before he was born? What is he put on this Earth for? It certainly isn’t just scaring away trash unicorns.
Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt) is Ian’s older brother is a history fanatic and longs to go on a magical adventure. He tries to help Ian break out of his shell as he knows Ian is more than he appears to be. Both brothers live at home with their mother Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who has raised them as a single mother and reveals a secret gift left to the boys from their father, to be given once they were both 16.
This film has a lot more too it than meets the eye initially – it isn’t all just a fantasy there is a deeper emotional impact on the characters. Ian believes that to be whole, he needs something tangible with his father. Barley tells Ian of his two (three, four) memories he has with their Dad, all early in his life before their Dad would be able to shape who he grew up to be.
The plot of the movie is really solid. The brothers embark on a magical adventure with the staff that was gifted to them from their father. Naturally only one brother has magic running through him, but Barley isn’t jealous of his brothers new found talents. Rather, he is thrilled that one of them is able to tap into a lost magic and coaches his brother through numerous spells that are recorded through the dungeons and dragons like game – . The score perfect, it has both fantastical elements but seems grounded in reality.
There is great female interaction between Laurel and Corey the Manticore (Octavia Spencer) as sometimes, you need a bad-ass new friend to help release your inner warrior – as most will know mothers are the most ferocious breed. Especially when their young are in danger. Corey’s character offers some light comedic relief while helping to add some fire to Laurel.
This film isn’t simply about two brothers going on a quest, its about love, and realising that sometimes what you think you need in life, you already have. Maybe, just not how you expect it. It is quite possibly a much more pure and healthy sibling representation than Frozen. There, i said it.
And yes, when driving you are never ready to merge into a busy line of traffic.