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Pixar works its magic in ‘Onward’

Pixar works its magic in ‘Onward’

Pixar works its magic in ‘Onward’
March 16
16:30 2020

I feel like it is a little cliche to start this review off with “Pixar has done it again.” But lo and behold, Pixar has done it again. It seems like every movie Pixar puts out — with the exception of a handful — is able to transcend the animated genre more and more with every entry. The studio focuses on themes before anything else, and because of that, there is a Pixar movie out there everyone can relate to.

While it may not be the best Pixar movie, “Onward” will be sure to make audiences reach for their tissues while simultaneously hugging their loved ones.

The movie is a big-scale quest story that revolves around two brothers. Their dad died when they were young and when they are presented the chance to bring him back for a day, they do whatever they must to see their dad one last time. While the story is not the most original, the heart is heavily present, emphasizing the importance of loving your family when some of your family is not there to be loved.

To say this isn’t the strongest Pixar movie does not mean it is bad. Yes, it has its flaws, but at the end of the day, this movie is going to hit a little closer to home for some. I must start by applauding Chris Pratt, who plays Barley Lightfoot and is also solidifying himself as one of the best voice actors in Hollywood today. His work in this movie and “The Lego Movie” really make me appreciate him more. He brings the film to a whole new level of entertainment, and any time Barley was on screen, I was not even the slightest bit bored.

On the other side of things, Tom Holland played the young brother to Barley, Ian Lightfoot. Holland did not really seem like he was meant for voice acting, and in some scenes of “Onward” it is very apparent. He is much more fit for swinging around New York, webbing up criminals and quipping throughout his day. Other than that, there were some minor moments where Holland took me out of the movie with his awkward dialogue.

The animation in this movie, along with all the other Pixar films, is stunning. It has gotten to a point where some of the backdrops in this movie look like they were filmed at locations in the real world. That being said, it is quite awkward to see very cartoon-ish characters walk around very realistic environments. That is about as nitpicky as I will be, but it was awkward from time to time.

The humor landed extremely well for me — one gag involving Barley’s beloved van in particular — and I am always impressed when these PG movies can make me outright laugh in my seat. This movie is also heavily invested in all things mythical. Wizards and fairies have a very big presence in the film, and if you are anything like me, you steer more toward the science fiction side of things. I would much rather watch “Blade Runner 2049” over “Lord of the Rings,” yet this movie had me fully invested for the entirety of its duration. 

As I said before, this is not going to be at the top of everyone’s Pixar list, and I can understand why. It pulls the heartstrings, like most Pixar movies, but if you have an older or younger sibling, those strings get tugged a little harder. Growing up with a little brother and split parents, this movie hit my heart right in the bullseye. A movie like this will fall off everyone’s radar pretty fast, so I recommend it to everyone while I can.

Final Rating: 4.25/5

Featured Illustration: Kylie Phillips

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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