“Onward”: a Magical and Heart-Warming Adventure

Pixar releases the long-awaited “Onward” into theaters and successfully tells a heart-warming story filled with magic and epiphanies about two brothers and their adventure.

March 18, 2020


Leena Shin

Disney and Pixar release the magic and fun-filled film “Onward” into theaters worldwide on March 6.

Long ago, the world was once filled with magic, quests and adventure. 


The key word: once.


On March 6, Disney’s Pixar released “Onward” into theaters worldwide, a film about two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot. Their world used to be filled with magic and spells that would be used to help each other. However, in that world, the magic has disappeared after society adapted to a more modern way of living over the years. 


But after receiving a sixteenth birthday present from his deceased father, Ian sets out on an adventure with his brother, Barley, to find the little magic left in the world and to spend a day with their father. 


To begin, the plot itself is not too magnificent or jaw-dropping but is effective nonetheless.


There are several moments in the film that are cleverly amusing and makes one think, “Wow, I wonder how they came up with that.” For example, there is a scene where Ian and Barley must find an object to float across a river, so they use a magic spell to enlarge a Hot Cheeto Puff, which was incredibly amusing to me. 


There are definitely plenty of small moments of clever comedy sprinkled throughout the film. In addition, there are also many plot twists, big and small, that occur throughout the film that are both hilarious and exciting, such as the location of the Phoenix stone they attempt to search for.


On a serious note, the story is absolutely heart-warming. It focuses mainly on family, and, since Ian grew up never knowing his father, his desperation to spend a day with his father is utterly apparent throughout the movie. 


The animation and artwork is splendid, as expected of Disney’s Pixar. One small detail that I find fascinating is the fact that the characters highly resemble their voice actors, Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, who play Ian and Barley, respectively, in terms of appearance. 


The two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, sit on top of Barley’s truck, Guinevere, during their adventure to bring back their deceased father for one day.

In terms of voice acting, Holland and Pratt do a wonderful job in bringing out the emotion in their characters. Holland especially does an incredible job in displaying Ian’s desperation to meet his father and his frustration as many obstacles block him from doing so. 


As for the characters, I believe the personalities of each character can be pretty stereotypical. Ian is the shy, skinny kid who is afraid of everything, and Barley is the loud, big kid who is afraid of nothing. In essence, the two main characters are complete opposites of each other.


While each character has a stereotypical persona, I think Pixar did a great job in making the brothers foils to each other. Since Ian and Barley are basically complete opposites, it places a magnificent emphasis on their individual character traits and flaws. 


Ian’s fear of everything is highlighted through Barley’s fear of nothing. Barley’s loudness is highlighted through Ian’s meekness. Their characters bounce off of each other in a harmonious trainwreck, highlighting each other’s strengths and weaknesses.


Overall, the best thing about “Onward” is its beautiful message of family. 


The film really causes one to be thankful for their family members and loved ones. It makes you realize that your time with them is limited and that you should cherish all the moments and laughters you share with them now. 


“Onward” is truly a film filled with magical adventures and a meaningful message of family. Therefore, I highly recommend everyone to rush over to the theater now and watch the two elf brothers dive into their magical adventure.


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