I feel strange recommending a movie that you have probably seen, but I think it’s important to keep your viewing experience as wide as possible. If you’re looking for good animated movies, look no further than the Pixar ones. The reasons why their movies are so good are the beautiful and engaging stories they tell. Carefully thought out and always with a good message, they bridge the gap between commercial success and educational narrative. Onward, for example, deals with family issues of what it’s like growing up without a father and with an annoying sibling. And I know that this subject has been done so many times, but Onward feels fresh and interesting, especially with a brotherly angle. I guess girls can have Frozen while boys can have Onward. Director Dan Scanlon lost his father at a very early age and when he was in his teen years, a relative gave him a short recording of his father’s voice. This served as an inspiration for this movie.
Set in a magical realm without any humans, it was refreshing to see all the strange and fun creatures interacting and creating all sorts of problems. With the huge popularity of video games and Dungeons and Dragons, it is no wonder that the movie is very relatable not only to kids but to adults as well. For fuck’s sake, I fucking loved it! All the seventies and eighties throwbacks were clearly intended for the parents of the kids who are the target audience. And the message that this movie sends is very powerful and on point.
Welcome to the world of tomorrow! Once upon a time, in this realm, magic was commonplace and used daily. However, as time passed by, its inhabitants started to rely more and more on technology and magic fell into oblivion. Living in New Mushroomton, we find the Lightfoot family, elves who are living ordinary lives. Laurel and her two sons, Ian and Barley, are still missing their husband and father Wilden, but life goes on and Laurel now has a new boyfriend, centaur Colt Bronco. On Ian’s sixteenth birthday, Laurel gives the brothers a gift from Wilden, a magical staff that will take them on an adventure of their lifetime.
Onward contains multiple layers and a complex story that is presented in such an approachable and understandable way that you can’t resist but be amazed at the quality that was achieved here. Pixar just keeps spoiling us with these amazing movies. Striking a perfect balance between emotion and engagement, they kept the pacing steady, without any boring or dull sections. Some of the scenes look like they have been taken from a video game, making onward feel familiar.
Starring Tom Holland (In the Heart of the Sea, Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World) as Ian and Barley Lightfoot, Onward has a very likable cast that had great chemistry. It’s like they were born for these roles and when you consider that in real life they pretty much look like their animated counterparts, the whole thing becomes even more obvious. So, if you’re looking for a fun animated movie to watch, check out Onward, it will be worth your time!
Director: Dan Scanlon
Writers: Dan Scanlon, Keith Bunin, Jason Headley
Cast: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Tracey Ullman, Wilmer Valderrama
Fun Facts: The Burger Shire, a fast-food restaurant, has a sign reading, “Now serving 2nd breakfast.” In the Lord of the Rings books and movies, second breakfast is a meal enjoyed by the Hobbits, who all live in The Shire.