Onward is a film that most moviegoers will enjoy, but it is far from Pixar’s best.
By Melissa Farthing, Copy Editor
In recent years, it appears as though the beloved animation company Pixar has been on a “sequel kick.” With the exception of Coco, every Pixar film released since 2016 has been a successor to one of their previous features. Now, this isn’t to say that those continuations were necessarily bad, but they made for several years at the theater that felt like more of the same. This is why it’s so refreshing to finally see an original Pixar film released after somewhat of a creative dry spell.
Onward first hit theaters on March 6, 2020. Although its theater run was sadly cut short, I had the chance to view the film on opening weekend.
Onward follows two elf brothers, Ian and Barley, as they embark on a vital quest: the chance to visit with their deceased father. With the help of a magic staff, they are able to bring him back to life…but only his legs. Now, they must venture across the land to find a magical gem that will help create their father’s upper half. They must hurry, however, as they only have twenty-four hours before the magic fades away forever.
Honestly, this movie turned out to be exactly how I expected: good, but not incredible. It certainly had a lot of things going for it. The setting was creative and poked fun at our everyday, modern lifestyle. It isn’t in every fantasy movie that you see trash scavenging unicorns or pixie biker gangs.
The characters were also very likable and relatable. Pixar does a great job creating characters that are so realistic, they would blend seamlessly into our world, as if they were actual people.
Perhaps the movie’s greatest strength was its ability to tell a meaningful, emotional story. Get ready to whip out the tissues; this is another Pixar film that takes pride in pulling at your heartstrings. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that Onward tackles themes such as regret, grief, death and loss. I had to put down my dog of nearly ten years on the same day I saw this film, so I felt the same raw pain that the characters were struggling with onscreen.
The biggest weakness of the film, in my opinion, had to be the comedy. Luckily, Onward wasn’t littered with infantile toilet humor like many other kids’ films today are. Still, it wasn’t very funny. I can’t recall a single joke that made me laugh out loud.
Onward is a film that most moviegoers will enjoy, but it is far from Pixar’s best. While I liked the movie, I am in no hurry to see it again anytime soon.
If you missed the chance to see Onward in theaters, never fear! The movie is currently available for digital purchase. Or, if you’re a Disney+ subscriber, you can wait until April 3 to stream it on the service.
Final Rating: 7.5/10.