Pixar’s “Onward” Enchants Animation Fans of All Ages

Photo courtesy of movies.disney.com

“Onward” is the latest animated film from Disney and Pixar. As a modern animated take on the fantasy genre, this newest film is another magical entry in the 25 years Pixar has been making feature films.

The story centers around a pair of brothers named Ian (voice of Tom Holland) and Barley (voice of Chris Pratt), whose father Wilden (voice of Kyle Bornheimer) passed away when they were younger. On Ian’s 16th birthday, he discovers his father’s enchanted staff; which kicks off a journey to find Wilden within 24 hours. The ensuing movie is 102 minutes of the bond between brothers and the magic of everyday life in more ways than one.

The voice cast bolsters the film’s story, with the comedic talents and emotional bonds of the leads shining through. On top of Holland and Pratt previously showing their comedic qualities in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the two characters they voice are essentially two sides of the same coin. Ian’s strength is his intellect, Barley’s comes from his desire for adventure. As the film progresses; their bond is vital to the quest at hand.

As always, the animation is without peer; as the “modern fantasy” setting utilizes a myriad of creative visuals and gags. A key scene in a tavern run by a manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) also reveals that it has become the equivalent of a family “Medieval Times” restaurant. One group of side characters are a bunch of pixies that take up the role of a motorcycle gang. Barley’s beat-up van, “Guinevere,” shares the name of the maiden who would become the queen of King Arthur.

Though not the first film to use these concepts, Pixar has once again excelled at imbuing the story with a human quality that can connect with young and old audiences alike; further demonstrating the craft they’ve honed in the 25 years since the release of the first “Toy Story.”

Overall, “Onward” is an enchanting animated adventure, highly recommended for Pixar fans and viewers of all ages. 

Starring the voices of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong, Tracey Ullman and Wilmer Valderrama with Kyle Bornheimer and John Ratzenberger

Directed by Dan Scanlon

Rated PG

My Rating: *****/5

Platforms: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Disney+
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