Movie Reviews

Onward (2020)

onward-movie-review-poster-2020Director: Dan Scanlon

Genre: Family, Adventure, Fantasy, Animation

Runtime: 102 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Kyle Bornheimer, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong

Plot: Years ago, the world was a magical place. But magic is a hard skill to master, and so as time went on, the mythical creatures in this world found newer and easier ways to get by. When Ian Lightfoot turns 16, his mother presents him and his older brother Barley with a gift from their father who passed away before Ian was born, a staff and a spell with the power to bring their father back from the dead for one day.

My Thoughts: After so many years, Disney Pixar don’t need to furnish me with any marketing. Just give me a date for when their next movie comes out and I’ll be there. That said, does anyone else feel the marketing for Onward has been a little…light? Not only that, in the trailers I saw over the past few months, I can’t help but feel like Onward could easily be mistaken for a Dreamworks movie. It has that kind of vibe to it, you know?

And if I’m brutally honest, I wasn’t blown away by the movie for a while. I was absorbed in the world-building, and I loved Ian and Barley as characters, but it felt like a very straightfoward, colour by numbers kind of story for a while. However. There was a moment around halfway through, when Ian and Barley are dancing with their father, that it all finally clicked, and the Disney Pixar magic kicked in, and every moment after that was just so good!

No spoilers of course but the ending really took me by surprise. I mean, you can see where the story is leading and you know what the climax will involve, but it didn’t go the way I thought at all which is always welcome. Oh boy did I cry though. It was up there with “Take her to the moon for me” on my Disney Pixar crying scale.

onward-movie-magic-spell-dad-legs-2020

Best Bit: The spells that Ian learns throughout the story are so much fun and took me back to my Harry Potter days. Aloft Elevar is the new Wingardium Leviosa, people. However! My absolute favourite bit was the creature that I will not reveal for spoilers and…let’s say…the finishing touch the curse brings it. I laughed quite loudly at that.

Worst Bit: I’m not fully sold on the mum’s boyfriend as a character. For a movie centring its themes on family, death and grief and everything that follows, I would have expected there to be more about the brother’s feelings towards Colt, other than simply mocking him.

Fun Trivia: Pixar’s iconic Pizza Planet truck appears in the troll bridge toll scene.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 cans of Mountain Dew DOOM. I wish they were real!

onward-movie-2020-mountain-dew-doom

9 thoughts on “Onward (2020)

    1. YESSSSSSSSSSSS. A bit of a slow burn at first (and excellent point about Dreamworks vibe), but then this one straight up scissor kicks you in the heart. I managed to keep it together…but only because Pixar has been training me over the years in the art of paying attention….but looking away.

      Marketing was totally light on this one, maybe Disney knew theaters were in for it??? I’m kidding…I think.

      Great review, Allie! (and be safe)

      Like

  1. That’s good to hear the ending is unexpected. I think this is one I’ll probably watch on DVD since going to the theater isn’t an option for the next few weeks. I don’t want to listen to Chris Pratt’s voice with Dolby Atmos sound anyways lol

    Like

  2. I liked this one. This is just my opinion, but based on the marketing this and The Last Dinosaur had (which was minimal, compared to their other works), I thought Pixar didn’t really believe this to be a hit they wanted it to be. I think this could be a tv series though (similar to How to Train Your Dragon) as it seems like there’s a bit of the world to be explored.

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