Onward is a decent children’s film, but no where near as good as the other Pixar masterpieces, like Coco, Up or Ratatouille.
The film takes place in a fantastical world of magic and magical creatures. Some time in the past, science was discovered and replaced all interest in magic as it was substantially easier to learn and use. Now, the world is a modern world a lot like our world, where all these fantastical creatures live in cities and suburbs and have jobs and pay taxes and all that.
The story centers on two young brothers named Ian and Barley. The two live with their mom since their father died years ago. On the younger brother’s birthday, their mother gives the two a secret package. Inside is a magic spell that can bring their father to life for one day. They use the spell and screw it up, bringing back only the bottom half of the father. Now the two brothers must go on an adventure to bring back the whole of the father before time runs out and they miss their one and only chance to chat with their father again.
The story is all right, but it didn’t resonate with me as past Pixar movies have. Part of that may be because I don’t have any brothers so I could not relate to the very brotherly themes in this movie. I also think its because the story wasn’t told very well. The story felt rushed and didn’t linger very long on the more emotional moments.
The other thing is that the world they created just felt lacking. The core concept is a fantastical world made modern. Something about this concept just wasn’t all that enticing. Usually, Pixar creates and fantastical world steeped in detail, humor and emotion. This world felt kind of unimaginative. It’s basically a world based on Dungeons and Dragons, mixed with boring suburbia. There just wasn’t enough time to fully explore this world so the whole thing felt like it lacked detail.
Visually, the movie looked about as good as any other Pixar movie. The voice acting was fine.
Overall, this was just and okay Pixar movie. It’s fine for both kids and adults. I don’t think it’s a must watch movie though. You can definitely skip this movie without fear of missing out on anything.