Dan Scanlon, director of Cars and Monsters University, worked wonders again with Pixar’s newest animated movie “Onward”.
Onward takes place in a world filled with mythical creatures who have lost touch with their magical roots due to technological innovation. Two elf brothers, Ian (voiced by Tom Holland) and Barely (voiced by Chris Pratt) Lightfoot embark on an adventure to find a magical gem within twenty four hours in order to spend one last day with their dad who died when the two were just children.
The movie has something for everyone, even if the overall package isn’t likely to go down as the next Pixar “classic.” Each character was well written, with their own individual characteristics and motivations. The combative and compassionate brotherly dynamic between Ian and Barley is terrific and really does feel like feuding family members. However, Barley’s character does feel like a plot device at times, whose actions are only meant to move the story along with no real thought into why he does those things.
The comedy aspect seen in most Pixar films was prominent throughout the movie and the emotional connection between the brothers and their deceased father is handled beautifully. The story arc’s emotional conclusion in the third act is also another example of the company’s brilliant storytelling.
However, Due to its child audience, “Onward” did come off as rather cookie cutter in its plot development and the fictional universe the movie was set in wasn’t as creative or memorable as other Pixar films.
This being said, “Onward” is still a delightfully fun family adventure that fits the Pixar studios formula to a tee. Even a subpar Pixar film still has magic that translates easily through the screen.