Set in a fantasy world where electricity has replaced magic with modern convenience, shy elf teenager Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) still misses the father he never knew. However, when his mother (Julia Louis-Dreyfus ) presents both him and his board-gaming obsessed brother Barley (Chris Pratt) a present from the past, everything changes…
…a solid body of work which your heart and mind will easily catch up to.
In their latest release ‘Onward”, Pixar studios fuse fantasy quest lore with their tried and trusted morality-tale template. At its very beginning, awkward Ian lists the things he would like to change in his life and sure enough by the movie’s close, the movie delivers. Beautifully rendered and realised, the lush graphics rely less on slapstick and more on the situation comedy of two brothers who embark on a quest, learning more about each other and their place in the world.
As with ‘Toy Story‘ and other animated fare, the detail is as much on the supporting characters as the main leads. Embellishing their journey we meet the Pixie Dusters, a comically aggressive chapter of hell-angels and Manticore who is robustly voiced by the always entertaining Octavia Spencer.
Paths are taken, lessons are learnt and values are extolled in what amounts to a perfectly well-presented family package. Though that said, with every foreshadowed trial and problem surmounted, there doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming reason that this couldn’t have been a live-action feature.
If you are looking for a family rental or download, ‘Onwards’ will be a good choice. However please be aware that for the younger viewers some of the discussions surrounding bereavement might put you on an awkward path to peril. Putting that aside and stepping forward confidently with a tight script and decentish character arcs, ‘Onward’ is a solid body of work which your heart and mind will easily catch up to.