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Onward (2020)

Onward (2020)


Starring the voices of
Tom Holland
Chris Pratt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Octavia Spencer

Directed by Dan Scanlon

This animation is charming, funny and the adventure is very inviting. In fact the adventure in this movie about using magic to get something you want. Also, being on a quest to find a special gem to make it happen, is something I can bet RPG game lovers have wished upon themselves. Not to mention battling a dragon, having allies with magical swords and puzzles, this movie is an RPG board game brought to life.

There is this Disney/Pixar formula of one parent being dead, in their movies. They seem to use it a lot in many of their movies. When I saw it happening again I wondered why they cannot summon up another status to place their lead’s story on.
That said, this movie used the same formula of a dead parent and made that the main arc to which this story spins on. If you have seen the trailers, you will understand that this animation is about two brothers trying to bring their dead father back from the dead. They idea stemmed from a gift their father left them, which was given to them by their strong-willed mother (voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus).

The movie’s plot idea comes from Dan Scanlon’s [who also directed the Disney/Pixar Monsters University (2013)] own personal life. When he was a-year-old, he and his older brother lost their father.
It is from this sad beginning to Scanlon's life that this story builds on. The story takes place in another world where we have two elven, blue-haired brothers living with their strong-willed widowed mother. Their father died before the youngest Ian (Tom Holland) was born.

Their world was once full of magic. But it was not easy to master, when innovation and science came along, people put magic aside and moved on.

Ian, is shy, skinny and odd, the movie introduces us to him when he clocks sixteen. He hoped it will be a turning point in this life, where he will change from this shy person to a more confident person. His big bro is Barley (Chris Pratt) who is somewhat aloof on what's going on in the real world. He is out of school and still lives at home with his mother. He is a fanatic of a Dungeons & Dragons-style role-playing game where he seems to have mastered everything in it.

So, when their father’s gift was given to them by their mom which was a magic staff, Barley knew immediately how it is supposed to work. It just so happens he did not know how to make it work. The staff comes with a spell which will make them see their father for just one more day. Ian mistakenly conjured the spell, which makes Barley happy, but the spell was not completed and they will need a gem to complete it.
So they have half their dad back, from the waist down and Barley who always wanted to go on an adventure drags Ian with him as they go in search of the gem to help them complete the spell

The chemistry between Tom Holland and Chris Pratt in this movie is amazing and the movie develops into a bumbling adventure, the way Pixar knows how to deliver.

The movie is worth seeing with the family, but do not expect it to have the same magical spark like the Pixar classics.


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