Onward Review: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt's film celebrates brotherhood, shows why no one does it like Pixar

Onward Movie Review: It's Tom Holland and Chris Pratt's undeniable chemistry as elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot that is the heart of Onward. It's in its innate simplicity that makes Onward a heartwarming watch. Read the full review of Onward below.
Onward is slated to release in India on March 6, 2020.Onward is slated to release in India on March 6, 2020.
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Onward

Onward Cast: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer

Onward Director: Dan Scanlon

Onward Stars: 3.5/5

It's the complex emotions inbuilt in humans, which is simply explained through the language of love, that makes Pixar movies a unique, sentimental watch. Giving animated films a deeper meaning than just to entertain the visual palette, it's hard to believe that the animation studio has been a part of our lives for 25 years since Toy Story. Onward continues the legacy of Pixar movies and strikes a balance between making you laugh, but also feeling all the right feels.

Is it groundbreaking like Toy Story, WALL-E or even Up and Inside Out? No. However, it harnesses all of Pixar's strengths and gives us a truly heartwarming tale, which you can relate to. Onward takes place in New Mushroomton, which once boasted of fiery creatures but is now riddled by commercialisation. Think Dungeons & Dragons, but with organised well-built homes and tamed creatures, who now have roles as police officers and family restaurant entertainers. At the heart of the story, we have two elf brothers - a shy, fearful and calculated Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) and the boisterous activist who wants to bring back the glorious past of fantasy Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt).

Both are riddled by the loss of their father Wilden Lightfoot, and on Ian's 16th birthday, his loving mother Laurel Lightfoot (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) gifts him a wizard's staff and upon careful retrospection, the brothers' are given a chance to bring back their father for just a day. However, the spell is too powerful and all they get are a pair of legs. The brothers then go on a conquest called Quests of Yore to retrieve a Phoenix gem (Yes! Very Avengers: Endgame of Pixar!) to spend a few hours with their family members.

It's Tom Holland and Chris Pratt's undeniable chemistry as brothers Ian and Barley that sinks deep into the core of the film. I'd happily sign a petition for Mr. Holland to play every kid ever in an animated flick. The boyish charm in his voice adds humanity to the loveable elf. Imagine Peter Parker, who later becomes Spider-Man. Only, in this case, we have an elf turning into a fearless wizard. On the other hand, Chris Pratt takes a page out of his Parks and Recreation character and adds life to what could have been the stereotypical big brother and instead gives us a caring, passionate and misunderstood elf who wants to remove the 'screw up' tag imbibed upon him, while also loving his van Guinevere as much as his little brother.

ALSO READ: Bromance Alert: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt couldn’t keep their hands off each other at Onward premiere; See Pics

What starts off as a quest for paternal love, which was stolen from then at a tender age to realising the bond between brothers, Onward's greatest strength is in its simplicity. Given how it's Tom and Chris at the forefront, you know there are going to be gifted several hilarious gags. Even the supporting cast, led by Julia's worrisome yet badass mother as well as Corey (Octavia Spencer), a Manticore who once was feared for her fiery persona but was now the owner of a family-friendly restaurant. The women are given ample time to shine, especially during the Game of the Thrones, Harry Potter inspired climax sequence. It's also the subtlest of scenes that prove the most heartwarming. An impromptu dance sequence started by their dad's sentient legs prompts the brothers to dance along or even when Barley had to let go of something precious to his heart to keep his brother happy, these sequences are what sets Pixar apart from the rest. For director Dan Scanlon, Onward was deeply personal and it shows in the emotional treatment.

Yes, Onward is also filled with flaws, especially for its convenient storytelling that isn't out of the box, like you would expect as a norm now from Pixar films, but it sends across a powerful message - sometimes what you seek is already in front of you. Just open your eyes and live it!

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