ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2020 – O – Onward (2020) Movie Review

Director: Dan Scanlon

Writer: Dan Scanlon, Keith Bunin, Jason Headley (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Kyle Bornheimer

Plot: Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Pixar 101

Story: Onward starts as we enter a world that was once filled with magic, which slowly got replaced with science, creating the world we know, only with the fairy tale characters including the elf family the Lightfoot’s, student Ian, his older brother Barley, that is always trying to remember the past and their mother Laurel.

Being Ian 16th birthday his late father left the boys a gift, to use magic to bring him back to life for one day, only for Barley to interfere causing him to come back as just legs. The brothers must go on an adventure to complete the spell before time runs out and they lose him forever.

Thoughts on Onward

Characters – Ian Lightfoot is the younger of the two brothers, he is a shy student that hasn’t ever fit in at school and has wanted to meet his father his whole life, on his 16th birthday he learns that he has the power of magic and can bring their father back to life for a day, he must learn to overcome his own fears on this adventure to understand what he could become in life. Barley is the older brother that has played games studying the ancient ways, using his own faith to lead the adventure, despite having a screw up mentality to the rest of the town. Laurel is the mother that has always scared for her boys, encouraged them and now is in search for them after they vanish. The Manticore was once a monster of fear that unlocks the quest while trying to recapture her past glories.

StoryThe story here follows two brothers who get a chance to spend one day with their father through magic, only for things not to go to plan, with the two needing to go on an adventure to complete the spell. This is a story that is looking to turn into a big heart, with the two brothers needing to look at themselves and understand the truth about themselves to get through this day. We see how even if people are going on different paths, they can always be there for each other. We try to dive into a world of magic once lost, which seems to be a clear reflection on how the human society has started to get lazier and forget where we came from, but it just doesn’t hit that level on a strong enough note.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure is the two brothers travelling to try and find an item that could bring their father back, it takes them to locations, only for everything to not seem that worth it, because the adventure is learning about the two of them, with most of the comedy coming off very weak for a Pixar movie.

SettingsThe film uses a mix of the modern ideas for homes, with how the historical ones are now modernised, along with a typical quest route.

AnimationThe animation standard is never going to be question when it comes to a Pixar movie, you know it will look perfect in every frame.


Scene of the Movie – The realization.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The comedy seems weak.

Final Thoughts This is one of Pixar’s weakest movies, that isn’t saying it is bad, it just doesn’t reach the heights that the others have in the past, lacking the true heart the rest achieved.

Overall: Typical Pixar Film.

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