by Annelisa Ginger | Staff Writer
After a long string of sequels and mediocre remakes, ‘Onward’ sticks out from Disney’s current roster as being the first original film to hit theaters in a while.
The film sets classic fairy-tale fantasy creatures and characters in a modernized setting while its story follows a pair of elf brothers named, Ian and Barley Lightfoot. The brothers discover that, before he died, their father left behind a wizard staff and a cryptic spell rumored to bring him back to life for one full day. However, the spell is cut short when the brothers attempt it, and all they are left with is their father’s bottom half. They must embark on a journey to fix the spell and bring the rest of their father back to life, especially because Ian places great importance on meeting his father in hopes that it will secure his identity as he grows up.
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will recognize the movie’s two lead voice actors, Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, as Spider-Man and Star-Lord respectively.
The Marvel chemistry between Holland and Pratt may be exactly what made them the perfect fit to play the two brothers.
Keeping true to its comedic, lighthearted tone, fun visual gags and references to well-known fantasy epics are peppered throughout the movie. A restaurant sign declaring, “Now serving second breakfast” and the characters drinking cans of ‘Mountain Doom,’ are only a few of these examples.
Though the movie doesn’t have any glaring dark spots, it’s not perfect, either. Some secondary characters, including the Manticore, change their mind and nature too quickly at the prodding of the protagonists. Thus, some conflicts are resolved a little faster than what seems natural.
Ultimately, the movie’s primary theme centers on the bond between siblings and the love that binds a family together.
By the end, Ian comes to realize that the family members he has, rather than the ones lost, matter the most to him. In fact, he’s willing to make a sacrifice for his older brother, Barley, which displays an excellent example of his character growth along the course of the movie and also Pixar’s prowess for making its audience cry as the theme hits home at the climax.
In the end, ‘Onward’ is a heartfelt film that reminds its viewers that the magic of family is never truly lost.