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Onward – With Two And A Half Men

Just like Toy Story and The Incredibles, Pixar once again excels at reconnecting that warm childhood spirit in every single one of us. Onward (2020) is an ideal, homely, and cheerful illustration that will touch you to your heart.

Summary

This animated Family Comedy adventure is directed by Dan Scanlon and stars Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Octavia Spencer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the main voice actors.

It’s also produced by Disney Pixar Studios (one of my favorite animation-production companies that gave us the nostalgic Toy Story and Monsters Inc. movies).

Two teenage elf siblings live in a world filled with magic and enchanting creatures.

However, due to modern technology and appliances that have made the world of sorcery obsolete, their society has grown accustomed to the ways of average sedentary living.

The two elf brothers receive a gift from their long-gone father one day to inform in them of the use of magic, and the ability to bring him back to life for one day.

To do this, the brothers embark on an adventurous quest that holds tests, challenges, and obstacles.

Along the way, they learn important lessons about the value of family and how working together for a common goal can bring us closer to each other, rather than farther apart.

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar

Story & Cinematography

I had an absolute blast with this one. A world brimming with exotic creatures like unicorns, ogres, and biker pixies, there was plenty of variety in the character designs.

Like Harry Potter, this fantasy realm includes magic enchantments and spells that showcase wonder and excitement.

The animation is incredibly enthralling and pleasing to the eye. I definitely have to give kudos to the animators that I’m sure put all their effort into this.

Many elements of comedic, entertaining humor are sprinkled throughout the plot that had me chuckling with strong laughter.

There were also moments where the story got serious with heart-to-heart interactions between the elf brothers.

That’s what I like about a good screenplay, it changes the tone and dynamic of the atmosphere in a clever and unique way to keep the viewer intrigued based on the setting that’s established.

The director and producers also did an excellent job with keeping the pace going and not dragging the plot behind.

Dynamic Performances

The performances done by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt were invigoratingly electric.

Their fun dynamic between each other really shined all the way. Pratt specifically was super hilarious and comical.

There were scenes he was in where I just grinned the whole time being entertained by the goofy and silly jokes he was making.

Tom Holland as well provided a lot of insight and depth to his character.

The transformation he went through from being timid and shy to courageous and bold had me emotionally invested in him the most.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer also brought an engaging aspect to the plot.

Spencer marvelously plays the combination of a rad-looking lion and dragon with a scorpion’s tail.

Her performance stood out great in my opinion with her character having the expectation to appear a certain way because of her imposing figure yet contrasting that with a lighthearted, harmless tone when she feels like letting her guard down.

Photo: Motion Pictures/Pixar

Jimmy Neutron Pants & More Imagery

I’d be doing a huge disservice if I didn’t mention the primary man of the film.

Or I guess calling him a man doesn’t really make sense in this case since he’s composed of half a human body, hence the title of this post.

The venerable legs guy that likes to tap dance with his feet, also known as the father of the two elf teens, Ian and Barley, was without a doubt the most attention grabbing.

When the plot first introduced him, the very second that happened I spit water out of my mouth arbitrarily (not joking).

It was an incredibly funny moment and even throughout the entirety of the movie I couldn’t stop being amused at the way he moved his figure and constantly bumped around into obstacles in a caricature kind of manner.

He mainly served as the support character to waltz in, literally, whenever the direction was losing focus, but that strategy was implemented effectively to give the atmosphere a merry and playful feel to it.

As stated before, the visual effects were created really well with the open, exploratory world being portrayed to the viewer.

The spells that Ian cast along his journey with Barley were awesome to look at (Ex. sparks of lighting flying around and objects being levitated).

Thrilling sound effects also contributed well to the imagery of the surrounding environment.

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

Final Thoughts

When I think of Onward, I’m overtaken with a feeling of cheerfulness and joy.

The direction that the story took the characters through was emotional and satisfying.

Being made stronger together by realizing the significance of cooperating with one another instead of relying on yourself, the viewer can take away certain key points when leaving the ending that will help them see their own struggles and misunderstandings with their family and friends, and how to turn that around for the better.

This delightful film does a stellar job of showing the viewer what a true brotherly and father-son relationship looks like when faced with adverse odds to complete a valuable endeavor.

FP Score – Praiseworthy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Categories

Comedy/Family

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