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‘Onward’ journeys to emotional and thrilling heights

April 17, 2020 by Brett LaBore

One can often hear “it’s more about the journey than the destination.” That phrase comes to life in Pixar’s newest movie “Onward.” 

“Onward” came out in theaters on March 6 and features the voices of Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer and John Ratzenberger.

It was directed by Dan Scanlon and written by Scanlon, Jason Headley and Keith Bunin.

Two brothers named Ian and Barley Lightfoot go on a journey to bring back their deceased father so they can spend some time with him. As this quest unfolds, both learn about one another and the magic that is still within the world.

This movie really surprised me in a good way, touching me emotionally in ways I never thought it would. I have the story to thank for that.

It’s a smart, clever story written by the team at Pixar and works well for this setting. Every twist and turn, literally and figuratively, gave new breath to this once magical world and all that is in it. I found myself very engaged in it.

The story also does a good job of using different, yet relatable settings such as a school, mountains, highway, caves and more. 

The inhabitants of this world are super fun. I can’t explain it, but a world with unicorns, centaurs, pixies, mermaids and dragons is so much fun to me. All of those are present one way or another.

I, personally, love movies where there is a quest or a mission on hand. It typically involves character growth, exciting adventures and emotionally-charged scenes — and that is all very fun.

It’s certainly up to Disney’s standards in terms of animation. I expect nothing but the best and they deliver once again. This is a good-looking movie with much to offer.

The voice work is superb. Holland is a rising star in Hollywood and proves that with a great performance as the younger brother Ian. He nailed the identity of the character.

Pratt is one of my favorite actors. He has played a lot of fun and likable characters, always providing us with so much characterization. He was phenomenal, using different reflections and tones to portray the big brother Barley. When Barley talked, I could see Pratt. I think Pixar got the voice and imagery formula perfected with this one. Excellent work from Pratt.

Barley and Ian are very different from one another, each having their own personality that makes them unique. They contrasted each other well, thanks again by efforts from Holland and Pratt.

As I mentioned before, this movie got me emotional at the end. I didn’t think I was going to get as involved as I did. Pixar continues to provide us with emotional stories that really touch the heart of so many people. I could feel it this time and they crafted it to perfection. It didn’t feel forced at all.

One aspect of movies I like is when a director defies audience’s expectations. That’s when he or she takes what we think is going to happen and completely turns it around, thereby surprising us. 

“Onward” sets one thing up and then ends up going in a direction, all while keeping the relative core of the movie intact. It flowed seamlessly together. 

I encourage you all to see this one. “Onward” teaches family values and the magic and love that is within all of us, all wrapped up in a funny, vibrant movie. 

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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