by Allie Vasserman
March 23, 2020
Pixar has a history of making some great movies and some not-so-great movies. I think Onward is one of the great ones. Onward starts by describing a world that was filled with magic in the past. Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, who play Star-Lord and Spiderman, respectively, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, voice two elf brothers, Barley and Ian. Their dad passed away when they were young, and they have been raised by their single mom.
Onward then jumps right into Ian’s sixteenth birthday, and we see that Ian looks up to his deceased dad and wishes to spend a day with him. Barley and Ian receive a chance to bring their dad back from the dead and to spend one day with him if Ian can use a magic wand and a special gem to perform a certain spell that their dad left them. When Ian attempts the spell, he brings back his dad, but only from the waist down. To remedy this, Ian and Barley go on a grand and glorious adventure to try find another special gem in under 24 hours that will allow Ian to bring back the rest of their dad.
Onward is filled with mythical and magical creatures, such as centaurs, unicorns, pixies, and elves. Tom Holland and Chris Pratt are both really funny, and they work well together. This movie portrays a positive relationship between the two brothers, Barley and Ian. They care and make sacrifices for each other, and they have each other’s back when they go up against the world on their adventure. Onward also illustrates the strength of parental love, because as a single mother, Barley’s and Ian’s mom follows her two sons on their journey once she finds them missing. She knows that they are in danger and goes after them herself instead of asking someone else to do it for her. In addition, Onward depicts a blended family, since Barley and Ian have a stepfather. They initially do not get along with him, but their relationship becomes better toward the end of the movie. I like that this movie shows character growth in Ian. In the beginning, Ian is nervous and fearful of many things, but at the end of the movie, he has conquered most of his fears and is more confident.
This movie is one of my favorite Pixar movies next to Wall-E, and I really enjoyed watching it. I especially liked the funny dynamic between the two brothers, and I appreciate how Barley is always there to help Ian and to teach him skills, such as driving and magic. I definitely recommend watching this movie. As a tip, Onward is coming to Disney+ on April 3rd. This would be a great movie to watch with your family while practicing social distancing!