Onward but Backwards

Onward is an emotional yet forgettable animated film


Disney and Pixar have produced a great number of memorable and beautiful animated films: Wall-e, Up, The Incredibles for example. That being said, not every single one of their movies is a hit, every so often you get a Cars 2, or you get a Monster’s University, or maybe a Brave\; these are movies that aren’t well received or just aren’t memorable. Is Onward as bad or forgettable as the previously listed movies? No. However, it definitely couldn’t hold up against some of the higher rated Disney-Pixar films.
Onward Stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as our two main characters Ian and Barley, and as one would expect from a pair of successful actors, they put on a great performance. However, our main characters are really the only characters that matter in the film. Most other side characters are introduced, then they just exist in the movie with little-to-no meaningful development, most characters are simply just objects to move the plot along. This is kind of disappointing as the movie has a great number of good voice actors in it: Ali Wong, Grey Griffin and John Ratzenberger to name a few, but they aren’t given anything interesting to do or say.
One of the other issues with this film is it’s visuals. Whether it’s the designs of the characters or the locations they go, not a lot massively stands out. The whole movie is set in a relatively basic fantasy setting. While this is absolutely fine for it’s target age demographic, it doesn’t make it particularly interesting for anyone else.
The other focus of this movie is it’s emotional story, that is something that it truly earns merit on. The story centers around our two main characters trying to complete a magic spell to resurrect their father for one day so that they can see him one more time. This premise of course leads to plenty of emotional beats in the story, and despite the story falling under a few to many cliches (an argument in the third act, Shoehorning in an enemy that has no right to be there, and a few others), most of the emotional beats in the movie feel earned.
Onward is a fine but forgettable movie that is no doubt amazing to all the children who have seen it. The movie currently has 7.5 stars, and is available on Amazon Prime, Vudu and Disney plus.