Onward, the latest Pixar movie is a delightful comedy that has a good mixture of choreographed visual comedy along with an impressive layer of emotional drama. Onward gradually transforms from slapstick kind of comedy into that feel-good pill. It may not be a drastically unique movie, but it has certain elements in the story that don’t make it a template.

Ian Lightfoot and Barley Lightfoot are two elves brothers. Ian, the younger one is a shy guy and he doesn’t have any memories of his late father. Barley, the elder one is an eccentric guy. When Ian turned 16, their mother showed them a gift that their late father had asked her to give them only when both of them turned 16. Well, let me just tell you that it had to do with an opportunity for the family to talk to the late soul for one day. But certain unprecedented things happened and the film is showing us how the brothers eventually fixed all those problems.

Onward is hilarious and to an extent emotionally moving. It is showing us the life of two people who are in a way labeled as losers. One doesn’t have the confidence to face people and the other one’s fearlessness is equated as a weird behavior. The movie is basically trying to motivate people to break free and follow their gut. And like most of the animated movies, the tool to achieve that is indeed humor. Ian and Barley going to see the Manticore in her Tavern and the sequences that followed it were hilarious. Post the midway point the movie really gets going. The emotional element starts to kick in and the makers do make sure that the humor is there till the end.

Tom Holland lends his sound for the unsure Ian and he was effective. Chris Pratt is Barley and his comedy timing was hilarious. The dialogue flow, especially in the humorous part was so good. Even though she doesn’t have a lengthy space in the movie, it was Octavia Spencer’s rendition of the Manticore that left the audience in splits.

One interesting thing about this movie directed by Dan Scanlon is that it doesn’t have that ultimate villain for the brothers to fight. The fight here is mostly with the fear and insecurity inside each person. The character of Barley who felt like a sidekick for a major chunk of the runtime gradually becomes an integral part of the story. The screenplay molds the story as that sweet take on understanding the value of people around you.  Ian and Barley are raised by a single mother and she is dating a police officer. Seeing all these things in an animated film, presented in a very subtle way was a nice thing to witness. As always the animation quality was supreme from Pixar.

Onward is fun to watch for sure and it has some variations from the usual underdog story. The brotherhood, the lack of a villain and the warmth of relationships make it that go-to movie for you to relax and revamp yourself.

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Final Thoughts

The brotherhood, the lack of a villain and the warmth of relationships make Onward that go-to movie for you to relax and revamp yourself.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.