Pixar’s latest family adventure follows two teenage elf brothers named Ian and Barley Lightfoot. The pair go on a journey to briefly bring back their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.
As you can tell from the synopsis and the fact it’s a Pixar film, it’s one hell of an emotional ride.
It’s a brilliant adventure with stunning animation, a well-developed world and expertly crafted character development.
Basically, Pixar have gone and done it again.
A True Pixar Animated Adventure
Pixar’s Onward is up there with the best Pixar films to date.
Onward feels like a culmination of all their best films: ‘Monsters Inc’ similar character design, ‘Finding Nemo’ similar adventure and ‘Toy Story’ similar in themes.
It’s your classic Pixar quest that moves from A-B, exploring new destinations with flawed characters developing their arcs, all while reaching a satisfying and heart-warming conclusion.
Come on, what more could you want?
World-Building At It’s Best
It did seem like maybe Pixar would run out of ideas, and while yes it does use the same classic storytelling formula, the creativity in the world-building and character design does not fall short.
The world is one that is full of magic, wizards, elves, pixies, trolls and all sorts of mystical animals yet electricity and day to day life have dulled down the world down into one similar to what we live in now. 9-5 jobs, bills, cars and school.
It takes a mystical world and mashes it with reality and the results are brilliant.
Being able to see this whole new world, shown off in so many brilliant ways is one reason alone why to go see Onward, and if you think I sound crazy, go see it for yourself and you’ll understand exactly what I mean.
Classic Character Development
Any story is dependent on its characters, no matter how innovative and mind-blowing the setting and animation may be.
At the end of the day, people want to follow characters they can relate to, connect with and enjoy.
Onward gives us all of this and more. The characters are well developed and given the right amount of time for each narrative.
Each character has their flaws and is forced to face those flaws, making them a better individual by the end. It’s what people love to see.
Real Themes and Issues
Onward focuses on not just the importance of family, but the power of brotherhood.
Family structures are complicated things, but for young boys, despite having and strong and amazing mother figure in their lives, the absence of some sort of male role model can sometimes spell trouble or at least be tough.
This sometimes leads to without them realising it, older brothers stepping up to the challenge.
Onward touches on this, and even plays with something else. It shows two young men (or elves) talking about something men traditionally bottle up: their feelings.
While it’s a subtle touch, it’s nice to see men talking about their feelings normalised, even if it is in a Pixar animated film.
Onward Is Worth Watching
Overall, If you’re a fan of Pixar films and their classic formula, you’re going to love Onward.
Despite its original world and character design, Onward doesn’t offer anything too different from what we’re used to.
What it does achieve however is tackling real themes and issues while being a film people young and old can thoroughly enjoy.
No matter who you are, if you enjoy a lighthearted adventure, go give Onward a watch. You won’t regret it.
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