Onward

16-year-old elf Ian and his older brother Barley receive a wizard’s staff that once belonged to their dead father; it has the power to summon him back for 24 hours, but that’s just the start of a wild adventure. Another fine Pixar film that knows how to put together a hilarious and intense journey, while also offering a theme that goes straight to your heart, in this case brotherly love and the painful absence of a father. Tom Holland and Chris Pratt are perfect choices to voice very different siblings and the filmmakers find just the right touch of weirdness for this world. There’s only half a dad here, but he’s wholly enjoyable.

2020-U.S. Animated. 102 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Kori Rae. Directed by Dan Scanlon. Screenplay: Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley, Keith Bunin. Voices of Tom Holland (Ian Lightfoot), Chris Pratt (Barley Lightfoot), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Laurel Lightfoot), Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Kyle Bornheimer… Tracey Ullman, John Ratzenberger.

Trivia: Executive-produced by Pete Docter. 

Last word: “My brother, I kept in the dark about it ‘cause I was making it for him. He knew little bits, here and there, and he generally knew that it was based loosely on our family, but he saw it, for the first time, two weeks ago, and he was blown away. I feel like, of course he loved it because he’s that kind of brother. He’s the kind of brother who was gonna love it, but it’s really opened up some great emotional things for us.” (Scanlon, Collider)

 

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