Pixar movies, much like Disney itself, are anticipated by everyone around the globe. Young and old, it doesn’t matter – they are beloved. So, when news came that Onward was next in the line up, you would have expected me to be excited. Well, you would be wrong. Sure I would go and see it regardless, but there was something about the storyline that didn’t completely interest me.
Onward is about two brothers who couldn’t be more opposite. Ian (Tom Holland) is socially awkward, shy and doesn’t have many friends as a result. Barley (Chris Pratt) is outspoken, loud and often finds himself in all sorts of trouble.
On Ian’s birthday, his mother presents him and Barley with a gift from their late father. Wilden Lightfoot was a renowned wizard in his time. Many people knew who he was and his loss was felt all across the magical world. The gift in question, his staff, comes with a spell that will allow the boys to bring him back for twenty four hours. Never having conducted magic before, the boys give it a try. Ian is ultimately successful, but only half so as Wilden Lightfoot is left with only the bottom half of his body.
In order to complete the spell, Ian and Barley embark on a quest for the Phoenix Stone. Many hijinks ensue and the brothers find themselves in a variety of crazy scenarios. However they will stop at nothing to see their dad again, especially Ian who has very little memories of the man to begin with. As their journey unfolds, they realise along the way just how important family really is.
I am pleased to report that the film was better than I thought it was going to be. There were a lot of funny moments and in true Pixar fashion, some tears were shed too. The cast is made up of some brilliant talent complete with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Ian and Barley’s mom and Octavia Spencer as The Manticore, a mystical creature who becomes an ally to the Lightfoots.
While the plot did keep me guessing, I expected more at the end of the day. There’s nothing I dislike more than feeling dissatisfied after leaving the cinema.