Can I just be honest for a second? I’m always a slight bit anxious when it comes to Pixar films. They are SO full of pull-at-every-heart-string-you’ve-got moments, I almost feel like I need a therapy session afterwards. They love to bring real life emotions into every animated story they create. In a sea of remake after live-action remake and countless sequels, an original story sounds quite refreshing.
Or is it?
We were invited to a screening of Disney and Pixar’s Onward. While I didn’t absolutely “love” it, I definitely did not hate it. Without spoilers, let’s chat about what I thought, and if this new movie is safe for the whole family.
About the Movie
In a nutshell…
Two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, go on an journey to discover if there is still a little magic left out there in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.
Stop right there. Let’s just focus on this part of the description…
“in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.”
Yikes. Talk about intensity for a kids movie. Save that thought. We will chat more about that in a bit.
Onward features elves and all things magical. And by all things magical, I mean ALL the magical things you could possibly think of. There are fairies, unicorns, centaurs, wizards…you name it, it had a place in this movie. As any Pixar movie fan would expect, total attention to detail is present. The only twist is that these magical creatures live in modern times, and without magic. Magic is “antiquated” and not regularly used. This movie is definitely aimed at role-playing game(RPG) fans, as there is a huge nod to Dungeons & Dragons.
Is Onward for the whole family?
Let’s go ahead and talk about that movie description now. The main idea of this movie is for the brothers to complete a quest “in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.”
Seriously. Who has not wished they could have just one more day with a loved one they have lost? This is a pretty heavy storyline for a small child to comprehend, and then coupled with the Dungeons & Dragons theme, could make this movie hard for a little person or a short attention span. But because this is a fantasy movie, it fits. And it is comforting. I did tear up, but ugly tears were not shed. Onward does a great job of taking you to the brink of an emotional breakdown and snapping you right back to the happy place you were in before. I will say that this movie has a perfect balance of all of the emotions.
The movie itself is rated PG, and I would say that is a fair rating. Violence is minimal, and adult theming is almost non-existent. Would a non-fantasy person find this movie entertaining? I would think probably not, as the entire movie is based on the fantasy genre.
Onward is a good movie. I really enjoyed the fresh take of the fantasy realm. It was entertaining and full of laughs. But in the end, the story itself just was not as powerful as I would have hoped it would be. The story seems scattered in many areas, without a real “plot” so to say. Unfortunately, I do not feel it has what it takes to be what most of us deem worthy of a Disney and Pixar movie. Does that mean I did not like it? Not at all. I really enjoyed the movie. It was when it was over that I felt like “That’s it?”
Cameos and Other Details
- For our screening, we were not shown a Pixar short. Anyone else miss those?
- I was so into watching the movie and not missing any details that I missed details! I did not find the A113, nor any nod to previous movies.
- While there is a scene or two featured during the beginning of the credits, once the actual long list starts rolling, there is nothing more to see. I miss those, too.
- We saw this movie in Dolby, which I did not feel that enhanced my experience. The seats were nice, but not necessary.
Let me know your thoughts once you see this movie!