Movie Review – ‘Onward’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Before the coronavirus pandemic affected the UK – please keep safe, my Mum and I had planned to see the latest Disney/Pixar film called ‘Onward’ at the cinema. Unfortunately, with the restrictions in cinemas and the eventual closure of them because of the lockdown, that wasn’t possible. A shame! 😦

Thankfully, as we’re in the age of certain films being released as digital downloads, my Mum and I decided to see the film ‘Onward’ at home on our home computer. This was in the afternoon of the Spring Bank Holiday Monday in May in the UK. We had chips and cheese burgers to eat with the film. 😀

It’s interesting to talk about ‘Onward’ as a Disney/Pixar film. I’m not really an avid follower of Disney/Pixar films as I haven’t seen all of them. ‘Onward’ is what you might consider to be an original Disney/Pixar movie and not a sequel or a prequel to ‘Toy Story’, ‘Monsters Inc’ and ‘Finding Nemo’.

So what got me interested in this film to begin with? Well, I suppose it’s the fact the film has the voice talents of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt that might have something to do with it. 😀 Yeah, this is another situation where a film like ‘Spies In Disguise’ had Will Smith and Tom Holland in it together.

Tom Holland is well-known for playing Spider-Man in the ‘MCU’ movie series. Chris Pratt is well-known for playing Star Lord/Peter Quill in the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies that are also in the ‘MCU’. Chris Pratt also voiced Emmet in ‘The LEGO Movie’ and ‘The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part’. A Disney/Pixar movie featuring these two ‘MCU’ movie stars together seems pretty irresistible.

The story of ‘Onward’ takes place in a suburban fantasy world where two elf brothers – Ian (voiced by Tom Holland) and Barley (voiced by Chris Pratt) go together on a quest to find an artefact that will bring back their deceased father for at least a day until sundown. The quest will involve magic feats.

In comparison to other Disney/Pixar movies I’ve seen, this one’s pretty decent. I don’t think it’s a great Disney/Pixar movie, but it’s a lot better than some of the other CGI animated movies I’ve seen. I found myself having a good time with this Disney/Pixar film and I’m sure it will entertain the kids. 🙂

There are plenty of humourous moments when you watch the film. I certainly found myself laughing at certain moments where Ian accidentally zapped Barley to become small-sized with a magic staff like Gandalf’s. Ian and Barley’s camaraderie is very good with Tom Holland and Chris Pratt voicing them.

The film features an interesting blend of mystic arts that are almost Harry Potter-like with suburban motifs as well as a suburban atmosphere and setting. Barley is very into the mystic arts side of things, wanting to bring the past back whilst training his brother Ian who is out of his depth with the magic arts.

It was also interesting to see how the brother relationship between Ian and Barley developed. Ian struggles to trust Barley on his extravagant ways during their quest to bring back their father. They bring their dad’s pair of legs for the ride too. 😀 Ian also discovers how Barley has always been there for him.

The film’s voice cast also includes Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Laurel Lightfoot, the widowed mother of Ian and Barley who becomes concerned about them when they go out on their quest. There’s also Octavia Spencer as ‘Corey’ the Manitcore, the winged lion-like restaurant owner and former adventurer.

There’s also Mel Rodriguez as Colt Bronco, a centaur police officer and Laurel’s boyfriend as well as Kyle Bornheimer as Wilden Lightfoot, Ian and Barley’s late father. And of course, how could a Disney/Pixar not have John Ratzenberger voice Fenwick, a cyclops construction worker in the movie?

There are quite a number of mythical creatures featured in this film. As well as elves; cyclops and centaurs, there are also fauns; goblins and I’m sure there are satyrs. There are even rough pixie biker gang types in the film. 😀 I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this movie had a Narnia connection to it here.

So do I think ‘Onward’ is a worthy Disney/Pixar film in the bunch? In my mind; clearly yes! But I wouldn’t say this Disney/Pixar movie tops up the standards of other Disney/Pixar films before it like the ‘Toy Story’ films, ‘The Incredibles’ films and ‘Ratatouille’. It’s a decent film in my humble opinion.

The concepts featured in this film as well as the tone, the atmosphere and the setting are enjoyable enough and I had a good time enjoying Tom Holland and Chris Pratt’s double act together. If you wish me to recommend this as a kids’ film, then I would say this is a harmless feature that kids are bound to like.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


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