Onward; Ah Sibling Love... The Best. Grade: B+
Updated: Apr 27
Onward tells a story about two brothers Ian (Tom Holland) and Barely (Chris Pratt). The boys father had passed away for some time now, Ian never really knew his father so he doesn’t have any fond memories. On Ian’s sixteenth birthday, his mother tells him her father wanted Ian to open up a present he left for him when he turns that age. The present is a magic staff, with the help of a mythical crystal it can bring back his father to life for 24 hours. Ian cast the spell as his father is back!!! Well I mean... His bottom half is back. Ian and Barely go on a journey to find another mythical crystal, so they can have the other half of their fathers body, so Ian can finally have a moment with his dad. I watched this back on opening night in theaters, never really got a chance to talk about it due to the fact I missed the short feature film played in the beginning... I’m a weirdo, but let’s talk about Pixar’s newest film.
The animation was quite wonderful, the film looks really cute. I felt for character design wise it was just basic, I wasn’t aroused by the way these characters were design. I guess that tiger bear dragon character was pretty cool, the blue elves look like Smurf’s... I didn’t care too much for the character design really. It honestly reminds me of an uncool version of Bojack Horseman, you can admire the creativity and fun with those simple odd character designs, while in this.... It just wasn’t special. The Score in this film was pretty lovely, very nice composed music. The characters I thought were good, in fact I can relate to Ian and Barely’s brother ship with my sister in a way. Ian t’was a solid lead character, I understand his motivation for wanting to reunite with his father, after not knowing much about him at all as he passed when he was a little kid. I admire the passion and integrity Ian put forward on this journey, as the inspiration of his father’s spirit really changed his character arc from being afraid to being bold/brave. One thing that was kind of odd about this character is the fact he early on cares about having a nice party, with a group of friends... But then it just disappears, like we suddenly forgotten he wanted to have friends?! Maybe a love interest would be more suitable if you were just going to put off to the side till the very very very end. Barely t’was a very weird yet interesting character, he was basically a Fantasy Nerd whom is just a complete outsider to the world. He doesn’t fit in with others, he’s very old to still be living with his parents, he gets made fun of as he’s kind of irresponsible. But one thing people have forgotten is Barely is a being with feelings and should be treated like one, which makes me give sympathy for this character. The brothers had solid chemistry together, as they really make this movie quite fun. The supporting characters I thought were fine, they have their moments but one can complain about lack of characterization for any of them, leaving them completely forgettable. But this film felt more driven to Ian and Barely, so maybe we can forgive them?!
I do have some flaws with this film. Some tropes and conflicts felt very similar to past Pixar films, so this film isn’t entirely original. It holds on to the idea of “Hey growing up is a terrifying experience” like every other Disney kids film, which I don’t mind but if you keep reusing it over and over again... It gets repetitive now and then. You know I gotta say: I had fun with Onward, this film felt like a true adventure mixed with some tears as well. I enjoyed the packed adventure these characters went on to hopefully reunite with their pops for one day, definitely felt like a trip. I also found this film’s message of the importance of how a sibling can make an impact on your life, while an adult figure is not present to be very sweet. The ending does complete Ians journey in a way, which makes younger siblings hug each other as they hope now that they’re getting along, their mother will buy them ice cream... I don’t know why I thought of that, but yeah. It may not be Pixar’s best work, but for me I can get behind it due to the fact it connects with me deeply with my sister.
Overall, Onward is a pretty good and cute film. I recommend this film, it’ll be on Disney+ in about a week so look forward to something during this dreadful freaking quarantine... Seriously make it STOP! -Mitch Smietana