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Onward Movie Review

Onward is a 2020 American computer-animated urban fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film is directed by Dan Scanlon, produced by Kori Rae and written by Scanlon, Jason Headley, and Keith Bunin. It is also the first Pixar film without any involvement from John Lasseter. It stars the voices of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Octavia Spencer. Set in a suburban fantasy world, the film follows two elf brothers who set out on a quest to find an artifact that will temporarily bring back their deceased father.

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Onward premiered at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival on February 21, 2020 and was theatrically released on March 6, 2020. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed $141 million worldwide, making it the ninth highest-grossing film of 2020 and a financial failure. The film's financial shortcomings have been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to widespread closure of movie theaters. Like several other films released in the early months of 2020, it was made available digitally several weeks after its theatrical bow.

Story about Onward

In a world inhabited by mythical creatures, magic was commonplace several millennia ago, though difficult to master. After technological advances over the centuries, magic became obsolete and was largely discarded.

In the modern day, two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, live in the city of New Mushroomton. Ian, the younger of the two, is a high-school student lacking self-confidence, and Barley is an enthusiastic, impulsive history and RPG fan. Their father Wilden died of a severe illness shortly before Ian was born, and their mother Laurel has a new boyfriend, centaur police officer Colt Bronco, whom Ian and Barley dislike.

On Ian's sixteenth birthday, Laurel gives her sons a gift from Wilden: a magical staff, a rare Phoenix gem, and a letter describing a "visitation spell" that can resurrect their father for a single day. Ian accidentally succeeds in casting the spell, but only the lower half of Wilden's body is reformed before the gem disintegrates. The brothers embark on a quest to acquire another gem and complete the spell, taking Barley's beloved van "Guinevere". Finding the boys gone, Laurel leaves to look for them.

Ian and Barley visit the Manticore's Tavern, named for a monster possessing a map to the gem. The tavern has become a family restaurant managed by the Manticore ("Corey" for short). While arguing with Ian over the map, Corey realizes how boring her life has become and drives the customers away in a fit of insanity, accidentally setting fire to the restaurant and the map. The brothers' only clue to the gem is a children's menu suggesting "Raven's Point", a nearby mountain. Laurel later arrives at the scene and befriends Corey, who agrees to help her. Corey warns Laurel that the brothers' journey may awaken a curse that can only be defeated by her sword, which she and Laurel steal from a pawn shop.

Traveling to the mountains, Ian and Barley narrowly escape the police and a motorcycle gang of pixies,[7] relying on Ian's newly awakened spell-casting abilities and Barley's RPG instincts. "Raven's Point" leads them on a trail indicated by a series of raven statues, but Colt follows them, calling in reinforcements. After coming to a dead end, Barley sacrifices Guinevere to cause a landslide, blocking their pursuers. Following the statues, the brothers descend through a cave and avoid a series of traps and deadly creatures, during which Barley reveals to Ian that he was unable to emotionally bring himself to say goodbye to Wilden when he was dying in the hospital. The final obstacle sends them back to the surface, where they find themselves in front of Ian's high school. Infuriated at Barley's advice, Ian lashes out at him for leading them on a wild goose chase and walks away with Wilden.

Rereading his list of things he always wished to do with Wilden, Ian realizes that Barley has been a father figure throughout his entire life, and returns to make amends. Barley discovers the needed gem inside a historic fountain across the street from high school and retrieves it, unwittingly triggering the curse Corey spoke of, which creates a dragon-shaped golem out of pieces of the school and other nearby objects, bent on claiming the gem. Ian's staff is knocked into the ocean during a battle with the golem, but he reforms it from a splinter embedded in his hand and continues the fight. Corey flies in carrying Laurel, who plunges the magic sword into the golem's heart, buying Ian time to cast the visitation spell and fully reform Wilden's body. Ian sends Barley ahead to finally give his proper goodbye to Wilden, and holds off the golem long enough for Laurel to destroy it. After Wilden dissipates, Barley tells Ian that their father is proud of him, and the brothers share a hug.

Some time later, Ian's confidence and spell-casting have improved and he surprises Barley by painting his new van, christened "Guinevere The Second". Corey reopens her tavern in its original spirit, drawing in customers with tales of past adventures. She and Laurel become friends, and Ian and Barley develop a better relationship with Colt, who was inspired to start galloping with his own feets. As the world begins to rediscover the magical arts of the past, the brothers set off on a new quest.

Voice Cast about Onward

  • Tom Holland as Ian Lightfoot, a teenage elf who is Barley's younger brother and Laurel and Wilden's son.
  • Chris Pratt as Barley Lightfoot, Ian's older brother and Laurel and Wilden's son, who longs for a magical quest.
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Laurel Lightfoot, the widowed mother of Ian and Barley.
  • Octavia Spencer as "Corey" The Manticore, a manticore restaurant owner and former adventurer whom Ian and Barley go to for help on their quest.
  • Mel Rodriguez as Colt Bronco, a centaur police officer and Laurel's boyfriend.
  • Kyle Bornheimer as Wilden Lightfoot, Ian and Barley's late father and Laurel's late husband. Ian and Barley's objective is to resurrect him for 24 hours. He appears as just his legs until the end.
  • Lena Waithe as Specter, a cyclops police officer.
  • Ali Wong as Gore, a faun police officer.
  • Grey Griffin as Dewdrop, a pixie and the leader of the Pixie Dusters biker gang.
  • Tracey Ullman as Grecklin, a goblin pawn shop owner.
  • Wilmer Valderrama as Gaxton, an elf and college friend of Wilden.
  • George Psarras as Avel, an elf police officer.
  • John Ratzenberger as Fenwick, a cyclops construction worker.
  • Bonnie Hunt as Mermaid

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