Courtesy of IMDB
By Angela Hickey
Disney is on the path to making another animated classic with Pixar Animations Studios new film, Onward. Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae– who are both well known for collaborating on the Pixar film Monsters University– Onward is a mix of classic fantasy and modern society, gathering the audience’s interests in a beautiful tale of family and magic.
Onward tells the story of two elf brothers, Ian, voiced by Tom Holland, and Barley, voiced by Chris Pratt, as they go on a quest in order to use long-forgotten magic to bring their deceased father back for one day. The two encounter many perilous obstacles, meet many fearsome creatures, and even get caught in a police chase in order to complete their quest and bring a little magic back into a world that had forgotten it.
Onward is a rollercoaster of emotions all centralizing around the theme of family, more specifically the bond between brothers. Throughout their quest, Ian and Barley must work together in order to not only bring back their father, but to also protect one another on a dangerous journey that may change their lives forever.
Overall, the film is a pleasant mix of fantasy life and modern day, creating its own developing world, easily comparable to our own world in certain ways. The setting of the film, although very modern, holds many hints of its magical origins, whether it be with unicorns replacing common raccoons or pixies forming biker gangs, the film creates a very specific world for the audience.
Released in theaters on March 6, the film received quite average reviews from audiences and has only made $103 million worldwide despite its $175-$200 million budget. Audiences cited the mediocre rating in advertisements and brand name raising audience expectations and being let down when they expected something else.
Despite audience reviews, the film is still a fun watch. The plot was interesting, utilizing the common urban-fantasy genre in a rather unique way, although at times rather easy to predict. The animation was aesthetically pleasing and very well done, as expected from a studio as prestigious as Pixar Animations. The cinematography was absolutely breathtaking, whether it involved a vast, grassy field littered with magical remnants or the setting sun over a wide open sea, Pixar held nothing back creating the world of Onward.
The film provided a very pleasurable experience and exceeded many expectations, keeping in mind that the target audience of the film was primarily younger children, and some tropes are purposely used to entertain this crowd rather than an older demographic. Despite the fact that it is a children’s film, it can be enjoyed by all ages. Relating to common themes, such as the loss of a loved one and the bond between siblings as some of the films’ main points, making it relatable to a vast majority and understandable to those who may have gone through something similar.
Onward was recently released on Disney’s personal streaming platform, Disney+. The film is entertaining and an excellent option for anyone who is bored during quarantine and wants a fun and light movie to watch with the whole family.