by Hans A. Carpenter
Release Date: March 6, 2020
Director: Dan Scalon
Starring: Chris Pratt
and Tom Holland
Mister Marquee Says: Magical
Ian (Tom Holland) is a shy elf living in a modern fairytale world that has forgotten magic. When Ian turns 16, his mother gives Ian and his brother Barley (Chris Pratt) a magic staff left by their late father that will bring him back to life for just one day. When the spell only half works, bringing their father’s lower half back to life, the boys have to go on a quest to bring the rest of their dad back.
No one does family movies, in terms of subject matter and tone, like Pixar. Onward is a welcome original that Pixar gets to crank out in between necessary yet quality sequels to please the corporate overlords. It’s a funny heart-yanker that may suffer from being a part of the Pixar brand. It doesn’t quite stack up to Pixar masterpieces like Toy Story, Inside Out, or Coco.
Then again, what does? Holland and Pratt have become living ATMs for Disney, with superhuman likability in the flesh and in the voice. The pair had chemistry in the Avengers movies, and as voice actors as well. It’s only a matter of time until these guys end up in a live action buddy road trip movie.
That’s what Onward really boils down to, it’s a buddy road trip movie that has the strong sibling connection that Frozen pretends Anna and Elsa have. The relationship between Ian and Barley is heart warming and human.
Onward may not stand up to the tippy top of the Pixar collection, but it’s still in the upper half and a very worthwhile trip to the theater.