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Onward Review

Onward is truly great family film, especially for those who have lost a father or a complicated relationship with a sibling. Tom Holland and Chris Pratt shine as their voices bring the characters of Ian and Barley, elf brothers, to life and perfectly capture their characters. Chris Pratt voices Barley, the goofy older brother with impulse control, and Tom Holland voices Ian, the quiet and more cautious younger brother who is probably the more relatable character to audiences. Or at least to me. Holland manages to capture the essence of what it was like to be a teenager for me, all the uncertainty and doubt even when you want to put up a brave face. The world-building in this film does leave a little to be desired but still does an incredible job of explaining and exploring this world of modernized elves, centaurs, trolls, pixies, and manticores. One con here is that the film doesn't go into the different species too much and their diversity so let's hope that it will get explored in a possible sequel. The story here is that Barley and Ian are trying to enact a spell that can enable them to see their deceased father for one more day. For them, with Barley having only a few memories of him and Ian having none, this means more than the world to them. It's no secret that director Dan Scanlon is channeling his own story here as his own father died when he was young and he does a wonderful job of it. While the humor of the film can be a bit forced at times and the few action scenes typical, it's the emotional moments that make this film stand out and mark it as one of my favorite Pixar films as I relate to it more than any others. While I still have my father, it was the moments that showed the brotherly bond between Barley and Ian that really spoke to me as anyone who has a complicated relationship with their brother (or sister) can understand. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer have their moments in a funny buddy-cop sort of way in the film but it's Spencer's arc that feels more important rather than Dreyfus's which is a little disappointing but she makes up for it with a few moments here and there. But the real standout is Pratt as Barley may seem like a goofy and silly character at first but really comes out as one of the sadder characters which makes his ending that much more deserved and rewarding. All in all, while this film does lack in a few ways, its fun new world setting and emotionally charged moments (that did bring me to tears) more than make up for it.

Favorite Scene: checking the list.

4/5

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