Onward: Pixar’s new hit
By Josh Vogt
I went into this movie with the standard expectations that accompany a Pixar film — beautiful animation — but more importantly, a touching and moving story that might draw tears. This movie did not disappoint on any counts.
In terms of emotional weight, the film follows two brothers as they struggle to get one last chance to see their father, who passed away right after the younger brother Ian (Tom Holland) was born. So Barley (Chris Pratt) and Ian find a spell that can bring their dad back for one day, and go off on a quest to complete it. The relationship that the two of them share in the film is a touching and very realistic portrayal of two brothers, and I often found myself fighting back tears.
The story behind these two protagonists was equally engaging, both through world-building and physical appearance. The designs of the world were beautiful and the landscapes were pleasing to the eye, a wonderful blend of modern looks as well as fantasy. The setting was brilliant, placing the world we know and love through the lens of this land where magic and monsters not only exist, but have replaced humans. It was uniquely done and drew me in from the start.
The plot of the film was a fairly simple one, and if it had not been handled as well, or been carried by such a great cast, might have turned out a flop. However, while it is not a complex or special narrative, the way it is carried out, as well as the heart thrown into it by all involved, makes it one of a kind. There are twists and unexpected subversions enough that you leave the theater in a good mood, processing a plethora of feelings.
After watching the movie, I noticed I was looking at the world in a different way the entire time it had my attention, and that is more than I can ask for from an animated film. It was enjoyable, well-acted, and a beautiful treat for the eyes. I highly recommend seeing Onward at your local theater, but be safe in this current climate.