As a follower of all things Disney, I have known that Onward was the next release from Disney Pixar Studios for a while now. I am going to admit that the trailer did not wow me. I was a little nervous this was going to be a repeat of the failure in my mind that The Good Dinosaur was (just not a fan). However, I wanted to stay current on my Disney knowledge and my kids love going to movies, so I thought oh why not, let’s give it a try. I am so glad we did!
I’ll do my best to convince you of its merits without spoiling the plot. Let me start off by saying that the trailer did not do it any justice. The trailer made the movie look like a strange child-friendly iteration of the late 80’s flick Weekend at Bernie’s. Thankfully, it is not that at all. The movie centers around two elf brothers, Ian and Barley. Ian is shy and nervous. Barley is outgoing and loud. Their father passed away before Ian was born and they’ve been raised by a single mom. On Ian’s 16th birthday he has become an adult and is really struggling to figure out who he wants to be. He feels he has missed out on having a father and that it has affected him in negative ways. His brother Barley has confidence that Ian lacks, but has no direction. He does have a fondness for a wizard card game Quests of Yore which turns out to be useful. Their mom presents Ian with a mysterious gift from his father that he was directed to not open until his 16th birthday. It turns out to be a wizard staff. Despite there no longer being magic in their society, the tale is that magic used to exist there but that people stopped believing in it and so the magic stopped. Ian soon realizes he is the brother in the family who has magic within him but needs Barley’s knowledge of magic (from his wizard game) and Barley’s hilarious party van Guinevere to figure out how to use the wizard staff to bring their Dad back to life for just one day.
Shenanigans and adventures follow as the teens try to bring their whole dad back (and not just his bottom half) and discover then men who they were meant to be. Tom Holland, of Spiderman and Avengers fame, is a great Ian. Chris Pratt, of Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World fame, is an even better Barley. Both gave great voice performances and really brought these characters to life.
Give this movie a try. You won’t be disappointed. Mild scary scene at the end, but of a similar scare factor of Marshmallow’s chase in Frozen. If you’re an emotional Disney loving Mom like me, you may also want tissues.
Have you seen Onward yet? What did you think?