Ok so it’s been a weird year so far and you are pretty cooped up with all the cinemas closed and most films already having their dates bumped to later this year or even next. It these times of social isolation you need a boost of good feels. Yeah, you need a Pixar movie with Peter Parker/Tom Holland and Peter Quill/Chris Pratt playing brothers in the new Pixar – Onward.
Originally slated for cinema release earlier this month Onward having already released in some territories switched from being delayed to being the first Digital release for Disney finding a home on Disney+ in the US with other platforms (iTunes, Google Play, etc) having the film out for purchase as part of speeding up digital releases for a lot of films only just out in cinemas (like Bloodshot). Due to this complex arrangement of exclusive agreements this meant that Onward wasn’t immediately available to Australia, until today.
Onward is set in a world where Elves and Dragons and magic exist in distinct Disney/Pixar kinda way – think Pixar DnD Edition. The world was full of magic and magical creatures like Centaurs and Pixies (no muggles though) where those who had the touch could also learn and wield magic as well. With magic not possible for everyone, technology rose to help those who had to do things the hard way – now fast forward a couple of hundred years and we are up to the world of Onward.
Onward main protagonists of Spider-Man and Star Lord are two Elf brothers being raised by their mother and step-dad the Centaur police… horse… man. When Spidey turns 16 however their mum gives them a gift from their departed father in the form of a magic staff and a spell that would return their father for just one day. The problem being that magic isn’t too common anymore with the concepts of spells being a tiny bit myth and legend.
Upon learning that Spidey (not Starlord) has the touch the duo attempt to return their Dad to the land of the Living for just one day and of course this is where the adventure begins. Taking to Quill’s mighty panel van Gwynevere (Star Lord really has a thing for naming his vehicles) the two embark on a quest to find the doohickey they need to complete the spell.
The quest, taking the pair through the world of Onward with it’s Manticore themed chain restaurants and Pixie biker gangs.
Overall Onward is the same level of quality you would expect from any Pixar movie and you can definitely see this was destined for the big screen. With a teeming city reminiscent of the Monster’s Inc world to the sweeping plains there are a lot of big set pieces that show this wasn’t intended as direct to video.
On a Pixar scale we would have to put this one somewhere between the Incredibles and Monster’s Inc (again) in terms of tone, you won’t be building any snowmen with this being more an action/adventure feel good title with a core message of brotherly love. That being said if you sit on the venn diagram of having your own Dungeons and Dragons character and avid Pixar fan this movie was made for you.
So should you go see it? Well the cinemas are closed so you aren’t really going anywhere but if you have Disney+ then the answer is yes you should absolutely hang out on the couch tonight for some Pixar action. While more in the Disney Pixar vein than the Pixar Pixar vein Onward does tick all the right boxes for the type of animated movie that we want right now.
Onward is streaming from April 24th for Australia on Disney+