Onward Review

March 5, 2020 at 3:36am
By Jason Stettner

This animated film carries a rather unique concept with a focus on the connection of two teenage elf brothers and them dealing with the loss of their father many years later. In this world there are many fantasy creatures, but long ago they gave up on the wonders of magic. They’ve become a modernized society and a rather lazy one to some degree. It’s basically a mirror of our society, but if we gave up on a magical element from ages past as we progressed in terms of technology.

General setup aside, this is about an epic quest as the brothers discover that magic is indeed real. They accomplish this by opening a gift from their late father and bringing back just his legs. From there, it’s a journey of self-discovery and growth as they aim to spend a day with the full version of him. There are of course many trials as they pursue this adventure, and this is basically at typical sort of road trip. It definitely carries some unique surprises, and they play with some interesting concepts throughout. A lot of focus on small discoveries of magic here or there.

They also brought a good emotional impact to this as both brothers had things that were affecting their lives. It’s interesting to see how they sort these out and grow from them. There are also some side characters present, and while they weren’t necessarily essential to what was going on they rounded out this journey in some different ways. I was particularly surprised by their mother Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as that character was great in this.
Onward Wallpaper brothers
In general the voice work was great, especially the two leads. The weaker, and perhaps timid Ian (Tom Holland) going against his wild no fears brother Barley (Chris Pratt). They definitely had contrasting personalities, and that worked well here.

That of course being really fun during the use, and or discovery of the magical abilities available to them. With this being animated the visual style was truly stunning. The realism and depth in this was unreal. Pixar continues to absolutely delight, with this being a treat to view when it comes to their animation work.

This does carry some good comedic moments that were quite funny, I was surprised at how well they nailed that aspect. It does a great job of comparing the epic fantasy, and then showing the sad modern state of it. Again, the dramatic and sorrowing elements were also very well implemented in this.

The Conclusion

Onward was a great animated film with a core goal that allowed for growth in its two lead characters and that was wonderful to see in action. It’s an almost simple journey as things progress, but they certainly go far in terms of distance.

There are some fun surprises, good laughs to be had and unique uses of magic. I was really into the concept of the world they created here, and pleasantly surprised as I didn’t have the highest of expectations going in quite honestly. The visual quality is of course stunning, which isn’t a surprise when it comes to Pixar.

I really liked the dynamic of the brothers in this, especially in how they showcased how this quest had altered them both going forward. It’s also neat how they were able to handle the loss of one’s parent, and the lingering effects on those trying to move onward. A good time for sure, definitely enjoyed this one.

Onward Poster
Onward Review at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening Provided by Disney

Rating Overall: 8.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner