Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures | Release Date: March 6, 2020
7.3
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 162 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
121
Mixed:
20
Negative:
21
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5
tropicAcesMar 6, 2020
It’s perfectly fine B-level Pixar stuff. Some clever jokes and beautiful animation, but it’s also got some awkward moments and an overall sense of lacking effort.
5 of 7 users found this helpful52
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4
TVJerryMar 6, 2020
Pixar has had some stumbles in the past, but this one rates as their biggest fall yet. The concept seemed cool: A modern world inhabited by all sorts of mythical creatures has lost its magic. Two brothers (voiced by Tom Holland and Tom Pratt)Pixar has had some stumbles in the past, but this one rates as their biggest fall yet. The concept seemed cool: A modern world inhabited by all sorts of mythical creatures has lost its magic. Two brothers (voiced by Tom Holland and Tom Pratt) set out to share one final day with their departed father, while rekindling the enchantment of their forgotten world. None of the characters are especially memorable and there aren't any cute sidekicks to add wacky charm. The script is rather bland, never funny and tries way too hard to be sweetly emotional. Finally, the animation is seldom beautiful or even cool. Kids might enjoy the high-energy pacing, but there's not much else to make this one stand out. To flex Disney's new Fox muscles, there's rather dumb (literally and figuratively) Simpsons short before the feature (and I'm a big Simpsons fan). Expand
4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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6
Stream2BigScreeMar 6, 2020
Welcome backeth to the mystical movie review siteth of the new decade, Stream To Big Screen! This quest will lead us down the path of peril to end up at our ultimate goal, a review of Onward. Onward was a movie about two brothers on a one ofWelcome backeth to the mystical movie review siteth of the new decade, Stream To Big Screen! This quest will lead us down the path of peril to end up at our ultimate goal, a review of Onward. Onward was a movie about two brothers on a one of a kind journey to find a gem that will help them complete a spell that will give them 24 hours with their deceased father. There were pitfalls and pixies along the dangerous way. Are you, brave soul, up to the challenge?

Ok, enough of the dungeons and dragons talk. Onward is a movie presented by the pairing of Disney and Pixar. Typically, the Disney/Pixar duo makes magic on the cinematic screen. Thus, Onward had a high bar to overcome. Viewers will expect the likes of an Up, Toy Story franchise, or even, Coco; but Onward cannot compare. I say that to say, the lower the expectations of this movie the better it will be going into it. Onward, led by Tom Holland, as Ian Lightfoot, and Chris Pratt, as Barley Lightfoot, is just a solid but typical pre-teen odyssey movie. Now, the two mentioned previously do a pretty good job of carrying the movie, Pratt more than Holland. Barley is exactly how I'd picture Pratt as a young adult. Holland, on the other hand, was less inspiring, more of just a voice than a believable character. That may have been the writing or it might be Holland's deliver. Unfortunately, Pixar and the writers didn't take any risks in the writing or storylines of this movie. Don't get me wrong, I love a good brotherly love excursion but the envelope wan't pushed enough.

Aside from that, the cast as whole did a pretty good job. Shout to Octavia Spencer for stealing the movie! What the movie did well is a little comedy and the overall animation. First, we all have come to love Pixar's animation, that's an obvious; however, it was the depiction of disabled creatures, clothing, movement of characters, and re-imagination of modern life that really was enjoyable. Oh, yeah, and the movie did have my neighbor and I bust out laughing at two parts (no really kid laughter though).

Sadly, Onward is not my favorite Pixar movie. The things that make this movie succeed does not outweigh the basic, uninspired plot. The disappointment may be due to the expectations based on Pixar’s past successes, but it didn’t translate here. Onward is a strong bowl of popcorn during a family movie night (I would understand a matinee for the kids but parents won’t get their monies worth).
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4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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6
hnestlyontheslyMar 8, 2020
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. “Onward was sad all the way through. At no point does it cease being sad. At points, it’s funny, but never happy. They are constantly losing things as try to temporarily regain a thing they’ve already lost permanently,” was Wife’s assessment after leaving the theater. She was attracted to this movie for two reasons: she nurses a soft spot for absurdist humor and resurrecting your dead dad but just pants checked that box, but also the premise of what if magic but now? Onward, despite being the first original Pixar movie since that complete knock off of The Book of Life, Coco, has been getting some criticism for feeling formulaic.

And to be sure there are elements of the Hero’s Journey throughout, but I agree with Wife when she says, the movie does a good job of being self-referential in terms of its borrowing from other stories. It’s not just a fantasy movie. Its characters are learning things from a D&D guide. Their mission-giving Barkeep doesn’t play her role straight, she’s evolved past those genre tropes and then come back around on the next pendulum swing. Sure, there’s pixies and elves and a dragon or two, but they are less central to the storytelling than might first appear. The individual scenes rely more on a funny premise about the magical modern world (by the way, one of the coolest books that doubles down on this premise is The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, which was written before and after 9/11), like what if pixies but a gang, or what if tavern but for kids, what if boat but Cheeto, etc.

Some of the most poignant moments aren’t magically or familially premised at all, really. My favorite moment is admittedly a Bing-Bong-esque (from Inside Out) final scene when Barley sacrifices his beloved van, the one thing he wants to be able to show his father, in order to continue on the quest. This is the sort of thing Wife means when she says that the boys are constantly losing things in order to temporarily regain something permanently lost. They shed their most prized possessions and desires in order to be able to discover, like Dorothy (in more ways than one, Wife compares this movie to that), they never really lost anything in the first place.

I went in prepared for this to be a tearjerker of a dad-son movie, but, honestly, it’s more of a pro-sibling and pro-car movie than anything else. For anyone who doesn’t have a brother or sister and anyone who’s never tried to learn how to drive a car, this movie will be deeply, deeply alienating, which I think makes it fun. Friend says he could imagine a situation in which there had been multiple scripts for how long Ian and Barley would spend with their dad, and the idea that they went with, “none” or “close to none” was a strong choice.

If I were going to pick apart one nefarious little detail in this movie, I’d say one of the most troubling aspects of this movie that goes unaddressed is the fact that magic seems to exhibit features of selective inheritance. Barley is completely unable to cast spells, despite his self-confidence and his “heartsfire,” despite his own magical father’s genes, and his father’s wish that they will have “a little magic” in them too. If the wishes of a dying wizard parent cannot inject a little extra magic in you, what will? The learning of even high level magic spells isn’t actually that difficult–Ian’s able to Mary-Jane his way into a top level sorcerer in about a day’s time–but something arbitrary and deeply unfair prevents Barley from being able to cast magic, despite the fact that Manticores and pixies can fly, centaurs can run fast, and basically every other magical creature can magic stuff. Barley doesn’t feel jealous about this (yet), but it does sort of subjugate him to the dewy-eyed, cheerleading best friend role in a way that doesn’t quite feel resolved.

I didn’t find Onward to be boring, not nearly as terrible as The Good Dinosaur, and I prefer it immensely to sequel three of Toy Story or even two of Frozen.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
danmanliveMar 8, 2020
The animation and score are gorgeous. It was fun without being brilliant. Second half better then the first. It had its moments but was lacking in humour. I was not surprised by anything. I did not really care for all the characters. It’sThe animation and score are gorgeous. It was fun without being brilliant. Second half better then the first. It had its moments but was lacking in humour. I was not surprised by anything. I did not really care for all the characters. It’s good that it’s original Pixar but they can do better Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
KlebartMar 10, 2020
The movie itself is watchable and generally enjoyable. The short film that opens before the main film is completely worthless. It has no point. It's not funny or entertaining at all and ruins the opening of the main film.
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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5
TyranianMar 29, 2020
Not as bad as Toy Story 4 but without the great characters and witty writing that made Pixar.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
JoeCoolMar 13, 2020
This movie is pretty subpar for Pixar. The concept of a modern world simply having gotten out of touch with magic and some RPG-game kids rediscovering it and going on a quest might sound nice, but it tries too hard. While the third act isThis movie is pretty subpar for Pixar. The concept of a modern world simply having gotten out of touch with magic and some RPG-game kids rediscovering it and going on a quest might sound nice, but it tries too hard. While the third act is emotionally rewarding, overall the journey isn't all that it could have been. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
JLuis_001Mar 17, 2020
Pixar never challenges but delights, although Onward is unlikely to sneak into the studio's most notable titles, especially because despite the quality, this story feels a bit docile, because it doesn't seem like it tried to amaze itsPixar never challenges but delights, although Onward is unlikely to sneak into the studio's most notable titles, especially because despite the quality, this story feels a bit docile, because it doesn't seem like it tried to amaze its audience but simply to entertain them. With quality yes but not with that magic of their best stories.

Definitely recommended, don't have doubts about that but it's missing more punch.

And while the comparison with Fullmetal Alchemist can be argued, ultimately they're both different stories.
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
theredskyApr 7, 2020
I truly love Pixar. It’s still probably one of the best animation studios working today but I have noticed a slight decline in the quality of their films since 2011. Not to say their films from 2011 on are bad (except Cars 2), they justI truly love Pixar. It’s still probably one of the best animation studios working today but I have noticed a slight decline in the quality of their films since 2011. Not to say their films from 2011 on are bad (except Cars 2), they just aren’t as good as their films from the 90’s and 2000’s. I would say Pixar’s last truly great films would be Inside Out and Coco and unfortunately, their mediocre streak is carrying over into this decade. Onward is a very mixed film for me. On one hand, I liked the animation, music, 3rd Act, and themes of brotherhood but I also didn’t like the first two acts and the characters. Characters are essential to making a Pixar film interesting to watch and I found the characters here not that interesting. Pixar has a fantastic track record for making interesting characters such as The Parr family from The Incredibles and Remi from Ratatouille. I’m not comparing the characters from those movies to the ones in Onward but I’m just trying to make a point that Pixar is very capable of making great characters but for some reason, they couldn’t do it here. I do like the brotherhood message that they share but that’s really about it. I didn’t find any of them relatable nor did I find myself interested by their actions. They change as people but it didn’t follow an interesting path. They just kinda changed suddenly and without question. The build up to the 3rd Act of the film was slow and dull to me. I wasn’t interested in the adventure at all and it felt like it took a really long time before the 3rd Act started but after that point, I found myself enjoying the film which is a shame because I finally started to enjoy the film when it was about to end. The final action scene used the environment well and was enjoyable to watch and the realization that Ian has was good. I just wish the lead up was much much more interesting. That’s not to say there weren't other factors that I liked about the film. Obviously, the film looks fantastic. This is something that has remained consistent with almost every Pixar movie. The visuals are spot on and the locations look really good and somewhat realistic for a fantasy world. I also thought the music was great. It was the only thing I really noticed during the first two acts and some of the music in the 3rd act can/do have the potential to bring some to tears. Overall, Onward is a step down in terms of characters and interesting stories for Pixar but it still retains its great visuals and music streak going. Expand
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