By James Davidson
“Onward” is a new animated film from Disney/Pixar. It was released in theaters In March of 2020 and was put on Disney’s Disney+ streaming platform soon after. Disney+ is Disney’s streaming service that is similar to Netflix and is available for $6.99 a month. Disney decided to place “Onward” on the new streaming service in light of the Covid-19 pandemic when the theatrical release was cut short.
“Onward” takes place in a fantasy world where elves, centaurs, and other mythical creatures exist in a modern styled world. Magic exists in this world, but it is mostly a forgotten legend of the past and not practiced in the current time. Two elvish brothers, Ian, and Barley Lightfoot, set out on an epic, Dungeon and Dragons style quest to find a magical stone to bring their deceased father back for one day.
I was pretty excited to see this movie. I love movies and books that have fantasy elements to them, I even played quite a bit of Dungeons and Dragons in my younger, single days. This movie has a lot of Dungeons and Dragons themes to it, which I really enjoyed, it even has a version of the game in the mythical world that is based on “historical facts” that Barley is very involved in.
I enjoyed how the film took fantasy elements and put a comical, modern twist on them. Like making Unicorns exist, but instead of rare, majestic creatures, they are dirty common pests similar to raccoons or squirrels. I thought it was an original humorous take on fantasy and I laughed at a lot of the fantasy tropes that were poked fun at.
I really enjoyed the plot of the movie. It felt like an epic quest that had some unlikely heroes with the one “nerdy” brother and the one who thought all of the fantasy stuff was ridiculous. I loved the brothers’ relationship with each other and how they played off of each other, it reminded me a lot of my brother and I and how we interact.
The plot also deals a lot with the brothers searching for a way to meet their father, who passed away when both were too young to really remember him. I thought that this added an interesting layer to both of the characters in how it affected each one differently and affected their relationship with each other.
The plot is much more complex and compelling than I was expecting and really drew me into the magical world. There were many interesting layers through the story and it made me appreciate the complexity of the writing and storytelling. It was intriguing to see all of the characters interact with each other and evolve throughout the movie.
While the plot was complex and intriguing, the story added just the right amount of humor and silliness to keep the movie from being too heavy. There were several ridiculous things that happened, such as floating on a giant cheese puff down a river instead of a boat, that added a much needed element of humor that had me chuckling through the whole story.
“Onward” is rated PG for action/peril and some mild thematic elements. It’s a great family movie and a perfect movie for the whole family to gather around and watch while everybody is stuck at home.
This movie is a fantastic fantasy film that has something for everybody in your family. It has some fantastic visuals. I recommend this movie for anyone and it’s a great way to pass the time while sheltering-in-place. I will definitely be watching this movie again and will recommend it to anyone interested in fantasy, or just anyone who loves a good, family friendly movie. It earns 5 out of 5 stars.