Onward

This image is official artwork for Onward. Furthermore, this image includes the two main characters of this film. According to the official Walt Disney website under the article “Onward”, Disney expresses the fact that “this film as well as the image belong to Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios” (2).  These two production companies are responsible for the creation of this film.  Furthermore, this image is on Onward’s official Facebook page under “Cover Photos”.

Pixar Brings a Fun, Wholesome Concept to Audiences in Onward

It’s no surprise that Pixar makes breathtaking films.  For instance, this animation company has made classic films like Toy Story, Wall-E, and UP. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the story lines are base around coming of age as well as family dynamic.  Sure, there have been some films that haven’t been the best.  With that said, there have been some films that have been game changing.  One film that has recently gain attention is Onward.  Not only is this film set in a modern fantasy universe but Onward looks like a film a lot of audiences can relate to.  Especially for those who would want to spend extra time with a decease intermediate family member.  From what Disney in addition to Pixar shows audiences, there’s a large sense of the power of family.  On March 5, 2020, movie goers will be able to see this film.

After seeing an advance screening, does Onward live up to expectations given by the production companies? Let’s find out for ourselves together.  In this review, we’re analyzing how Onward expresses the theme of the strength of family through the story, characters, and animation.

Onward’s Story is Incredibly Compelling and Emotional

From the beginning, Onward’s story is incredibly compelling.  Essentially, two elven brothers Ian and Barley receive a staff from their decease father given by their mother.  While looking at the staff, the family finds a spell that can bring him back for a day.  Unfortunately, the spell backfires and only brings back the lower half of his body. Now, the brothers must work together to see their father again.  Honestly, there’s so much more to this story.  However, this film should be seen in its entirety in order to experience it.  Onward’s story flows incredibly well.  Since the story follows around the brother duo.  Without a doubt, Onward is defiantly a character driven story.  Which means that the characters drive the story along.  Much like the story in Frozen 2. Rest assure though, Onward is completely different from Frozen 2.  Anyways, Onward  has a fun and powerful story.

Ian and Barley work off of each other so well. There chemistry is so intertwining that they create comedy every time they’re on screen together.  Like I state previously, the story follows the brother duo trying to get their father’s full form.  This is without a doubt one of the driving forces of the film.  Undoubtedly, this part of the story may resonate more with audience members who have lost an intermediate family member.  That drive of doing whatever it takes to see that person you love once again.  Additionally, the story shows the strength of a family unit.  The brothers lean on each other consistently through this film.  The audience feels that drive and force the brothers face.  In fact, the audience can understand and cheer for the brothers to pursue their goal.  While Onward’s story is compelling, the characters are fun and three dimensional.

The Characters in Onward are Completely Relatable and Three Dimensional

Without a doubt, Onward has fun and three-dimensional characters.  Since this universe is a modern fantasy, the characters really reflects that concept.  In fact, the characters are more fun because of the use of the fantasy genre.  Typically, in storytelling, the establishment of magic in a universe has to be present for the audience.  In order to show how magic works in each universe.  Since this is a fantasy universe, there’s a ton of different opportunities for character designs.  Which this film takes full advantage of. Again, rest assure that no spoilers will be discuss in this review.  With both the dynamic duo of the brothers and the universe set in, Onward has a fun cast of characters.  Firstly, let’s take a look at Ian.  Ian is the younger, introverted brother. His drive to see his father is incredibly strong.  On the other hand, Barley is the nerdy, older brother.

Without giving too much away, Barley is my favorite character since he’s incredibly relatable.  In fact, most older nerds might relate more to Barley. Barley has his own reasons for wanting to see his father again.  One of the aspects that this film really focuses on is the relationship between the two brothers.  Which Onward does incredibly well with the chemistry of Ian and Barley.  Within this film, the strength of family shows itself very frequently.  While this film does focus on the two brothers, the brother’s mother Laurel fits well with the dynamic of their family.  She isn’t overbearing. However, her concern that her sons will get themselves in trouble is incredibly real.  All of the characters serve their own purpose to show the strength of families.  Just as the character assist the theme, the animation shows the strength of families as well.

Onward’s Animation is Unique and Shows the Bond Between the Brothers

One of the things this film does incredibly well is the animation.  Onward’s animation reflects the theme this film establishes.  Since this film does focus on the quest of the two brothers, the animation has a lot of beautiful moments.  Yeah, there are moments that are action pack.  Since this film is within the fantasy genre, there are some action scenes that are fantastic.  There wasn’t at one point where the animation felt fake or jarring. Even so, there are moments where the animation reflects the strength of family.  There’s a lot of moments where the two brothers Ian and Barley are talking.  Without question, these moments are the most powerful.  The audience can see the emotion and pain each of the brothers go through.  Additionally, the audience gets to see how close these two brothers are.

To be honest, the mother Laurel has her own moment which are incredibly powerful.  Laurel’s emotion shows on her facial animation.  In fact, a lot of the emotions shown in this film are from facial animation.  Essentially, it’s a more of a show don’t tell situation with the emotions.  Which is exactly what animation should do.  Some animation enthusiasts might see this as lazy animation.  However, this type of animation is critical to learn more about how a character is experiencing.  Which is exactly what this film accomplices.

Without a Doubt, Go Give Onward a Watch

In this review, we analyze how Onward has shown the strength of family.  Firstly, we analyze the story of this film.  Without a doubt, the story is incredibly compelling.  The fact that these two brothers have incredible chemistry is critical for the story.  Especially with the premise of the strength of family.  A family must stick together no matter what.  Moreover, the characters within this film are relatable and three dimensional.  Each of the characters have their own story line.   In fact, each one of them fits well within this story.  Finally, the animation assists with the theme.  To clarify, the animation shows the audience the emotion that the characters are facing.  Honestly, Onward is a wonderful film that shows the strength that family has.  Give Onward a chance in theaters to see the power this film has to offer.

Discussion Time! 

Thank you so much for reading this review. I’m extremely happy to discuss this film.  Now, I want to hear from you guys.  Are you excited to see Onward? If you have seen it, what did you think of it? Fill free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.  However, make sure keep the discussion to minimum since this film is opening this weekend.

Moreover, if you guys want to learn more about Onward, I will provide several links below. Firstly, here’s the official link to Onward’s website.  To clarify, this website is on Disney’s official website.  Additionally, here is the link to Onward’s official Facebook page.  Fill free to like this page for more updates.  Finally, here’s the link to Onward’s official Twitter page.  One good thing about Twitter is receiving instant notifications on projects.  Follow that link to get the most frequent updates regarding this film.

If you like what you see here, fill free to follow this link to another review I did.  In this review, I discuss how Sonic the Hedgehog broke adaptation records.

Last but not least, if you want to receive any news regarding pop-culture, create an account today at Geek Street Society. 

Thank you once again and stay tuned for more news here on Geek Street Society.

Word Cited

“Onward.” Edited by Walt Disney Studios, Disney Movies, movies.disney.com/onward.

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