'Onward' is Disney-Pixar's latest animated feature, starting Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as brothers: Ian and Barley. The film is set in what can only be described as a sort of post-mythical universe where beings and creatures from popular mythology do exist but have forgotten their old ways and become reliant on the conveniences of technology- or in simple terms, unicorns eat your garbage and pixie bikers could threaten you. It tells an emotional story of coming to terms with loss and explores the close relationship of the two brothers.
As a younger brother myself, I found that 'Onward' did a great job of portraying a brotherly relationship on screen with Ian and Barley's relationship having the sae familial charm and wit that a real pair of siblings would mirror. This is an excellent point for kids with siblings, whether older or younger. For the younger ones, it's great to remind them that their older siblings can definitely be looked up to and no matter what differences that they may have, that their sibling will always be looking out for them. Similarly for older siblings, it could be a reminder of the responsibility that they bear in helping their siblings navigate the world but also a reminder of the younger sibling can also encourage and support them. These messages are all the more poignant upon finding that the director, Dan Scanlon grew up in a similar situation to the character Ian, where he lost his father at a young age and his brother could only remember him for him. The film becomes a love-letter dedicated to the people who shape us and make us grow. Family.
As far as quality goes, I will admit that I am impressed with this film. I found Holland and Pratt's chemistry irresistibly charming and interesting, helping continue to keep me drawn in and invested in the film. Another particularly interesting performance would be Octavia Spencer as the Manticore. The juxtaposition of her character being an extremely terrifying mythical creature against her personality makes for a fun character that contributes significantly to the laughs of the film. In addition to the likeable and interesting characters, Pixar must be commended for the animation, the sheer quality of it is absolutely fantastic, with each whiff of magic being just short of believable. Hell, even the background animations look great. Unfortunately, the movie does slow down a bit towards it's latter half, which may leave younger viewers feeling a bit bored and uninterested. Luckily the third-act of the film picks up the slack and delivers a traditionally-Pixar ending with each line looking to tug at any heartstrings which it could find.
That being said, 'Onward' is a fun, original Disney-Pixar film that tells the story of two teenage elf-brothers. Their quest is made interesting by their chemistry and the characters met along the way. The film is one which could definitely be a great watch for younger kids, and could likely end up being an underrated gem in the future.