Onward brings a great story around a family whose desire to connect hits home for a majority of viewers while having an interesting world at the same time. The main draw of showing the bond is presented well between these two brothers and strikes a personal chord with me that is felt days after the credits roll.
Onward takes place in a world full of magical items and creatures while taking part in modern-day society. It tells the story of two brothers, Ian and Barely, as they try to work out a spell left by their deceased dad that can bring him back for one day. When it goes wrong, they go on a quest to complete the spell.
The performances from Tom Holland as Ian and Chris Pratt as Barley gives a tenderness to the story that already has a very emotional premise. Their connection has a sensitive touch that demonstrates the highs and lows that can come from growing up with opposite siblings. Pratts’s high energy flows well with Holland’s awkward approach, giving an empathetic showing of two animated characters.
One of the most polarizing aspects of this film is how relatable the legs are. The show tries to have a great characterization towards this pair of legs, and in some ways, it works. However, it does take a while for the concept to be truly digested.
The plot itself is entertaining enough and does add interesting lore elements, though the pacing can be a bit slow at times. Personally, it had me connected to the events the entire time due to my relationship with my brother. If that isn’t a case for some viewers, it would be a bit harder to empathize throughout the second act.
The third act itself though does bring the energy up with where it goes. Without giving anything away, it touches on an aspect not really explored within Pixar’s library. It is a great resolution to a story that carried a heavy emotional theme from the beginning. And, like usual, the animation is top-notch from start to finish.
Onward is a great family flick, however, it does also bring a heart-filled story towards brothers’ connections that pushes past the kid-friendly appearance. While I wouldn’t say it’s the best Pixar film by any means, it’s a solid addition that deserves a viewing.