Onward is a computer animated urban fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation studios for Walt Disney Pictures. The film was directed by Dan Scanlon, produced by Kori Rae, and stars the voices of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyus and Octavia Spencer. Set in a suburban fantasy world, the plot is focused on two elf brothers who set out on a quest to locate an artifact that will bring back their deceased father.
The film premiered at the 70th Berlin International film festival on Feb. 21, and was then released internationally on March 6. It was made digitally available two weeks later which ended up driving in great sales for the film after it initially suffered financially due to coronavirus shutting down theatres.
Onward is truly magical and we as the audience find ourselves increasingly invested in these siblings' journey to seeing their dead father again with every minute that goes by. In this tale of brotherhood and finding ones self, Tom Holland stars as the awkwardly shy Ian Lightfoot who just wants to blend in as a normal teenager, while Chris Pratt stars as his over the top eccentric older brother who longs for a magical quest. Unbeknownst to both of them it is Ian in the end that holds the magical gift that will lead them to a face to face meeting with their father.
Emotional as any other, the film has great elements surrounding step children, fatherhood, and dealing with a lost loved one. All of these dealt with delicately in a way one would assume when watching something made by Disney. Another interesting element in the film was its choice to include a lesbian character which was a very subtle hint in a nice innocent way.
The progress within the plot was very sincere and simultaneously saddening as the core drive in the film is brotherhood and dealing with loss. I definitely found myself a bit emotional throughout the course of the film as it really manages to pull on the ones heart strings.
And while heartfelt themes in the film are the forefront, the comedic and action elements were great as well. The character “Corey" provided most of the action in the film which looked great on screen as is always with Pixar animation. This balance in the film with its numerous elements is greatly appreciated.
Theatres may be closed, but the movies don’t stop coming as we saw with this one which has still managed to make over a $100 million back so far in its sales through a mostly virtual release. For those who love a good Disney film like I do and are stuck inside during this weird time, check out Onward and allow Disney to get your mind off things!