Movie Review: “Onward”

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A magical quest begins in a suburban neighborhood in Disney and Pixar’s “Onward,” the newest film from the animation giants which made an unexpectedly early appearance on Disney+. It’s a cute, fun take on the intersection between fantasy and modern technology, with entertaining and relatable characters to invest in. 

The film focuses on a family of elves, namely, brothers Ian and Barley (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, respectively). Raised by a single mother, their life appears to be quite normal, but a mystical gift from their late father sends them on a magical journey far out of either of their comfort zones, both physically and emotionally.

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Joining Ian and Barley in the cast of characters are such delights as Corey (Octavia Spencer), otherwise known as The Manticore, and the boys’ mother Laurel (Julia Luis-Dreyfus), who quickly becomes an integral part of the film. This movie is another step forward in Disney’s attempt to break away from their earlier parent-less films. It’s refreshing to see a quest undertaken by various age groups instead of just the teens — don’t underestimate these women.

“Onward” lives up to the gargantuan legacies of both Disney and Pixar, producing a thoughtful, funny movie suitable for all ages. This is a very heavy movie, however, dealing with strong themes of grief and loss, and while it does a great job depicting the reality of these things, it’s not recommended for those currently processing strong emotions. 

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