Onward Movie Review Rating: 4/5 Stars (Four stars!)
Star Cast: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Ali Wong, John Ratzenberger, Lena Waithe, Mel Rodgriguez
Director: Dan Scanlon
What’s Good: The adventure excites you along with maintaining the trademarked Disney-Pixar warmth.
What’s Bad: Went in with a bunch of tissues, used just a couple of them.
Loo Break: This doesn’t even require an interval.
Watch or Not?: Even if you’ve never heard of it, please do!
The first scene takes you to the world of Disney & Pixar where everything is magical. Exploring a very different perspective of how magic is still alive somehow, we’re introduced by two contrasting personalities – Ian (voiced by Tom Holland) and Barley (voiced by Chris Pratt). The Lightfoot brothers are just like any other siblings, Ian being the introvert whereas Barley is outspoken.
On turning 16, Mrs. Lightfoot (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) gifts a mysterious artifact to Ian and Barley left by their dad. By now we believe in magic and we also agree to the wand bringing their dad back to life for one day. But both of them fail to properly use the wand and waste half of the chance to meet their dad. But the story is about hope and love, and it narrates an adventurous ride through which the brothers go in order to properly use the wand.
Onward Movie Review: Script Analysis
Whenever Disney meets Pixar, emotional connect is a by default tag-along. The story makes clear how there’s magic to the world with two moons, dragon-dogs, a half-man-half-horse. The idea of bringing the dad half-alive pretty much works in favour of the scene. When Pixar tried everything with the human and its feelings, they bring in a half-human with full emotions.
The script’s transition from drama to adventure might not be as smooth as Coco, but it keeps you interested throughout. After robot-robot, grandfather-grandson, emotion-emotion, grandson-family, it’s time the story highlights the relationship of two brothers. Totally skipping the stereotypical traits, the narrative just helps you to deep dive into the journey of the siblings hoping to meet their father for one day.
Onward Movie Review: Star Performance
Tom Holland makes a perfect Ian. One of those animated characters to which only Tom could do justice if and when it comes to real-life. Top captures the innocence of Ian through his voice helping us to connect better. As a character, Ian fits right into the Disney-Pixar zone. It’s guided by a proper backstory bringing in the required emotions.
You can’t really imagine Chris Pratt as Barley but oh man, the job he has done! He gets to be the emotional catalyst and Chris packs every emotion of Barley with his voice. As a character, Barley makes sure you’re laughing as well as crying with the film.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Mrs. Lightfoot misses fitting in the family frame as well as the kids and the father. She’s there to support the narrative but there aren’t any substantial changes introduced by her character.
Octavia Spencer plays the role of a manticore, these are beasts who can fly. It’s just there and adds no additional value apart from taking the story forward which could’ve been done either way.
Onward Movie Review: Direction, Music
Post being a storyboard artist on Cars and helming Monsters University, Dan Scanlon returns after 7 years with a project that lets him bring his monsters mashing up with humane emotions. He designs the story in a way that it keeps the sentiments alive without compromising the adventurous angle of the story. It stays true to its solid plot.
Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna play around well with the background score. Mychael was the one who had composed for Deepa Mehta’s Water and his love for Indian music is truly visible with the choice of instruments.
Onward Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Onward is as special as any other film in the Disney-Pixar filmography. It has something for everyone and still some refreshing elements to top everything. Get set for some moist eyes!
Onward releases on 06th March, 2020.
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