ONWARD- The Flick Fanatics (Karl S)



Chris Pratt- Barley Lightfoot

Tom Holland- Ian Lightfoot

Julie Louis-Dreyfus – Laurel Lightfoot

Octavia Spencer- The Manticore

Chris Pratt and Tom Holland reunite to voice elven brothers who embark on a great quest in the new Pixar animated film “ONWARD”.

Once upon a time there was a world of mystical creatures living in harmony. Creatures help each other with the use of magic. Some were better at casting spells and were called wizards others struggled with magic and just relied on Wizards to help them, until some smart elves turn to technology over magic to make their lives easier. Soon technology overtakes magic and wizards are relegated to folklore.

Ian Lightfoot (Holland) is a nerdy elf who just with the flow and tries not to make waves and avoids confrontation. His older brother Barley (Pratt) is the exact opposite, a boisterous elf the thrives on causing trouble and lives by his mystical role-playing games. Laurel Lightfoot (Louis-Dreyfus) is a single mother raising both her boys after their father Wilden (Kyle Bornheimer) died prior to Ian’s birth. Ian only knows of his father through photos, audio recordings and memories passed on by his brother Barley. Ian is turning 16 today and his mother has a special gift for him and Barley from their father, a wizard’s staff!

The staff was for the boys and included a special stone called a phoenix gem and a spell that will allow the boys to bring back their father for one day! Ian is ecstatic with the chance to meet his dad and Barley who lives for the magical old ways grabs the staff and recites the spell only to have it not work. Ian tries it next and the phoenix gem begins to glow and magically blasts the boys backward. Assuming the spell didn’t work again Ian is sad only to see a twitching foot in his closet. The boys excited at the thought of seeing their dad but Ian spell only resurrected half of Wilden, the bottom half.  Barley explains they just need another Phoenix gem and can complete bringing their dad back. The problem facing the boys is phoenix gems are rare and the spell Ian cast only lasts one day.

Barley, using his knowledge from his magical games, tells Ian they must go on a quest to find the stone and bring their Dad back to meet him on his birthday. This quest will be difficult and dangerous facing all types of creatures including the menacing Manticore who knows where they can find the gem. The boys leave a note for their Mom, and take Barley’s magic themed van Esmerelda to begin their quest and visit to the Manticore.

The boys have van issues, run out of gas, confronted by a angry gang of pixies but finally make it to the Manticore (Spencer) who has gone from mythical warrior to short order cook operating a Chucky cheese type restaurant. The manticore does know where the gem is hidden and has it on a map but refuses to give it to the boys. Barley grabs a placemat that has a kiddy version of the map on it and they can use to find Ravenspoint and get the gem.

Laurel tells her boyfriend Officer Colt Bronco (Mel Rodriguez), a minotaur police officer, that the boys are in trouble. Laurel tracks the boys to the Manticore and enlists her to help to find them and save them from the curse surrounding the gem. So now Ian and Barley are racing the clock, being chased by the police and their mom and the Manticore to bring back their dad!

ONWARD is another in the line of Pixar classics. Pixar hands down makes the best animated films because they appeal to both kids and adults alike and they have a way to weave a heartfelt message in their films without making them overly sappy. Onward is AWESOME and MAGICAL! ONWARD is one of Pixar’s best in this critic’s opinion (I would put it in the top 5 with UP, Toy Story, Wall-E, and the Incredibles) and should be viewed by the entire family numerous times.

Flickanalysis : 5/5 stars