This review is brought to you by Krissy Rechtlich
ONWARD – RATED PG – 1 hour 42 minutes
DIRECTOR: Dan Scanlon
WRITERS: Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley, & Keith Bunin
STARRING: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Octavia Spencer
Disney Pixar returns with another sibling-centric story circling around the importance of family. Tom Holland and Chris Pratt are reunited in this animated film as teenage elf brothers who lost their father as young boys and have a longing to see him again. Their wish is granted as, for Ian’s (Tom Holland) 16th birthday, their father gifted them a staff that would bring him back to life for 24 hours.
Just one problem – only his legs survived the spell! So Ian and Barley (Chris Pratt) are off on a quest to bring him back.
I fell in love with the premise of this film the minute I saw the trailer. A world that once existed of magic, wonder, and opportunity slowly became pushed under the rug by society. While creating fire and light from a wizarding staff was once a wondrous accomplishment, its marvel was extinguished and rendered unnecessary after the invention of the light bulb. And slowly but surely – the fantasy land faded into our modern world of cell phones, automobiles, and technology.
As a millennial, I experienced just what it was like to slowly see technology take over society, taking my childhood innocence along with it. This story captured the magic that I believed in the world as a child and, whether on purpose or accidental, mirrored how much technology and culture has deafened our ability to appreciate our surroundings. There’s elves, dragons, centaurs – magic! All of it enough to capture the attention of a child.
However – if, as an adult, you’re worried that the best parts of the film exist in the trailer, you may not be completely wrong. Putting the negative stigma on necromancy aside, the middle portion of the film was only moderately entertaining at best. The brother’s journey was a little longer than necessary and it seemed, at times, that the plot came to a stagnant halt. While Disney was certainly trying to recapture the magic of Frozen, but with brothers instead of sisters, the journey seemed to take immense priority over the history of this wonderful world they had created and had left me leaving the theatre feeling rather disappointed. As a big fan of Harry Potter and King Arthur, I was hoping for more background.
That being said, what they did include regarding this warped fantasy world was entertaining and creative. Children will enjoy this movie. Anyone who plays Dungeons and Dragons will enjoy this movie. And, of course, Marvel fans can at least support some of their favorite superheroes.
Overall, I give this a 7/10.
It was a wholesome, chuckle-worthy film. Not one you’d HAVE to see on the big screen but definitely worth a watch.
This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser
ONWARD – Rated PG – 1 hr. 42 mins
DIRECTOR/WRITER: Dan Scanlon
WRITERS: Jason Headley, Keith Bunin
STARRING THE VOICES OF: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriquez, Ali Wong, Lena Waithe, Tracey Ullman, Wilmer Valderrama and John Ratzenberger
As we venture into a fantasy world of creatures that have long forgotten their magic powers, we meet Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland), and his big brother Barkley (Chris Pratt) trying to make their way through life with their Mom Laurel (Julia Louie-Dreyfus), for years since the death of their Dad, when the boys were very young.
When Ian receives a special gift for his Birthday, it seems that it’s up to him, and brother Barley to venture on a quest for the magic that will bring their father back to them, and all of him, if only for one day…
I give ONWARD a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS LATEST PIXAR FILM ON DVD! Well, it made me smile to see that Pixar decided to make a film for the little dudes of this world too, since the girls got their wish of getting a FROZEN 2 just a few months back. And as dude flicks go, this one is rather entertaining, but then again, when you’re owned by Disney, who owns Marvel too, which gives you the clout to join Tom Holland, a.k.a. Spiderman, opposite Star-Lord himself, Chris Pratt, thus setting the precedent that this latest sibling-centric Pixar creation had the potential to be very entertaining, right from the start. And entertaining it is, the whole way through, because let’s get serious, once you add in Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer and their exceptional performances along the way too, it has to be good! So, with all these accolades thus far, why not give ONWARD a perfect rating? Well, for me, this cute little story about a boy trying desperately to spend one day with a father he has never seen before is quite admirable, and having an awesome big brother by your side throughout your journey gave me the warm fuzzies, but this film also feels so drawn out at times, that it takes away from the film as a whole. And along with the fact, when it was all said and done, parts of it felt like rather dark for little ones who were in the theater watching it with me too. I also felt once we got to the “wishing for Dad to be alive again” part, that many youngsters who have lost a parent might be affected by this concept, as what child hasn’t wished that there was a way to bring back their Mom or Dad, which just isn’t going to happen. I mean, I’m the first to say that letting your children live out part of their lives in a world filled with wonderment and fantasy is a healthy thing, that’s true, but the concept of this film, as far-fetched as it may be, might just be a little too much for the kiddos out there who just can’t wish their parents back into their lives, no matter how hard they try. Call me sentimental, or overly-sensitive, or ridiculous if you must, with the fact that this particular concept in the film stuck such a chord within me, but I felt that I wouldn’t be doing my readers justice, if I didn’t share my thoughts in an attempt to ease the pain for a child that has been pumped for weeks to go catch this new Pixar Animated feature, and that might be affected when they can’t wish their lost parent too, back into existence…