Disney have done it again. Yet another smash hit from Disney Pixar animation studios!!!
On his 16th birthday elf Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) is gifted a magical wizard staff from his moher (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) that comes with an enchantment that will allow him and his older brother Barley (Chris Pratt) to spend 24 hours with their late father he never got to meet. When the spell goes wrong, Ian and Barley must embark on a quest to retrieve the phoenix gem and try and bring their father back. What ensues is a quest full of magic, comedy and truly heartful and heartbreaking moments only Disney could pull off.
The heartbreaking story is based on the real life story of Dan Scanlon the director and screenwriter of Onward. He said in a report he did not have a sad childhood, he just had a hole in it.
He stated in an interview with Vanity Fair “When i was trying to come up with an idea for a film, you look to the sad things, you look towards your fears, because thats where drama comes from.” Scanlon went on to say “You look for the fun too. And i was talking to my mom on the phone and i said, ‘The truth is, I don’t know what to make a movie about, because nothing sad ever really happened to me.'”
“You lost your father,” his mom replied.
“And i said, ‘Yeah, but thats not sad, I don’t remember him.'” Scanlon then stated. “And she said, ‘Thats why its sad.'” The real magic of this story was that Scanlon and his brother uncovered a forgotten cassette tape that brought their father back to them. The Cassette said only two words “Hi” and “Bye”. Scanlon said “I mean, if you’re only going to get two words, its nice to have those two.”
Dan Scanlon has created a truly heartfelt adventure, which feels like it was writen right from his heart. Pixar have created another movie with beautiful, creative and powerful imagery and representation of classic mythical creatures and beings such as wizards, unicorns, eleves, trolls, and pixies among many many others. With Unicorns serving as sort of Racoons and Pixies as a Hell’s Angel type gang. The world of Onward was once a magical place such as the world of Tolkeins Lord of the Rings and Hobbit tales. But the creatures invent technology such as the lightbulb, cars, tv’s and radios. Which leads them all to reject magic for the ease of using such technology.
Whilst not in the leagues of Coco, Up or Wall-E. Onward is still a fun magic filled adventure that is 100% worth a watch. This movie will tug at your heart strings from the very start. Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, as always, are amazing in the roles of Ian and Barley. With Tom Holland bringing his Peter Parker charm to the role of Ian who has the modern concerns of an average teenager he frets over making friends, and fears of learning to drive. Whilst Chris Pratt brings his charisma, brother bravdo, and goofiness to the role of Barley a Dungeons and Dragons nerd that breaks the stereotypes of such mould. Together they both share great chemistry as two brothers. Julia Louis-Dreyfus gives plenty of warmth and heart to the role of Ian and Barleys mom. But by far the winning performance is from Octavia Spencer who brings her fierce, diva grandness to the Manticore. A lion, scorpion hybrid with huge bat like wings.
Overall this movie is yet another smash hit masterpiece from the makers of Toy story, Monsters Inc and Finding nemo. The pace keeps the adventure rolling with the audience on the edge of their seats in epic battles with a giant dragon made out of rubble and highspeed chases with Hell’s Angel type pixies. This movie is for me one of Disneys greats and an instant classic, with its excellent stroy, pitch perfect voice cast and exciting imagery.
My rating for Onward is a very strong 9/10. I don’t know how Pixar keep doing it. But with its fun filled, heart felt and magical adventure story Pixar have created another instant classic.
Onward stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt and is directed by Dan Scanlon.
Onward releases in cinema’s everywhere March 6th.