Dan Scanlon (“Monsters University”, “Tracy”), brings us his latest Pixar animated film, Onward, starring Tom Holland (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”, “Spies In Disguise”) and Chris Pratt (“The Lego Movie”, “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2“).
Onward is set in a former mystical land where the occupants of the city have all but forgotten their magical abilities, favouring electricity, cars and planes over any kind of magic.
Holland and Pratt play Ian and Barley Lightfoot respectively, boys to Laurel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep (TV)”, “Downhill”). Their father has sadly passed away and Ian, as the younger of the boys, never met him, though he’s desperate to.
On Ian’s 16th birthday, Laurel gives the boys a present from their father, a magical staff with an included spell that will bring back their father for one whole day, sun-up to sun-down.
Barley, as the older of the two and the one who is heavily into his magical history and role playing games, tries and tries and tries to make the magic work. But even with the required crystal in place, there’s nothing doing.
However, when Ian eventually picks up the staff, it starts to come to life and he begins to cast the spell, but part way through the crystal breaks and all the boys have managed to bring back are their fathers legs.
Barley knows how to find another crystal and so the pair pay a visit to The Manticore, Octavia Spencer (“The Shape Of Water”, “Ma”), and take her map which leads them on a quest across the city to find the crystal to bring the rest of their father back.
With the boys off on their adventure, Ian discovering more and more of his magic, they are chased down by Laurel’s boyfriend officer Colt Bronco, Mel Rodrgiuez (“Animals (TV)”, “The Last Man On Earth”), their mum and The Manticore, who knows the crystal they seek will unleash a monstrous curse.
Onward is a magical film, the animation is simply sumptuous with Holland adding a young innocence to his character and Pratt playing the boisterous, adventurous older brother brilliantly.
As with the majority of Pixar films though, it’s the heart and soul that they put into the story that really makes Onward so much better than other animated movies.
It’s a story of not realising what you have, what’s right in front of you, as Ian desperately searches for who he is, believing he’ll find it if he had the time with his father.
In searching for his father, Ian is missing those around him, missing the time he’s spent with them, the adventures they’ve had together and it takes this adventure with his brother to make him realise this.
Onward is a wonderful film that deserves to be seen, catch it wherever you can.