Disney Pixar’s latest feature film, “Onward,” directed by Dan Scanlon, brings Pixar back to the roots of its originality. Over the last decade, Pixar has been pumping out sequel after sequel, based on its past properties, despite the lack of necessity for telling the story. This has been apparent with “Cars 3,” “Finding Dory,” “Incredibles 2,” “Monsters University,” and “Toy Story 4.”
But even Pixar’s original films, with the exception of 2018’s “Coco,” have been lacking in some major areas. “Onward” is the first Pixar film that feels like they’re on the right track. From start to finish, “Onward” consistently keeps that Pixar feeling of family and adventure.
It’s true that “Onward” follows an almost formula of Pixar’s movies, but that’s not necessarily a negative as it manages to still hit home its emotional beats despite that. “Onward” tells the story of Ian and his brother Barley, who go on a magical quest to see their dad for one last time.
The heart of “Onward” is easily the brotherly dynamic between the two leads, Ian and Barley, voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt respectively. Their constant bickering and bonding moments, give “Onward” this heavy emotional punch that it waves above Pixar’s predecessors. There are so many moments in “Onward” that feels like old school Pixar.
From the looming theme of family to the emotionally charged third act, the film gives a reminiscing feeling of films like “Up,” “Wall-E,” and even “Toy Story.” Things that have been void in Pixar’s recent efforts.
“Onward” manages to please die-hard Pixar fans while displaying a heartfelt and touching story that reminds us of Pixar’s golden years.