Movie Reviews

Published on February 21st, 2020 | by gareth



The magicians at PIXAR have returned with the new animated film “Onward”. The film stars Chris Pratt as Barley and Tom Holland as his younger brother Ian. The two brothers live with their mother Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), following the loss of their father before Ian was even born.

This has resulted in Ian being unsure of himself as on his 16th Birthday he still lacks confidence, cannot drive, and is embarrassed by his over the top brother.

The fact that both Ian and Barley are Elves who live in a modern world filled with mythical creatures is what makes this such an interesting premise.

When a gift is revealed that will be able to give Ian and Barley a chance to temporarily reunite with their father to give them both the closure they seek, the duo are forced to take on an epic adventure in a race against time.

Naturally the impulsive Barley and the cautious Ian must overcome many obstacles both physical and emotional along the way as they bond and face a myriad of creatures in a race against time to complete their quest.

The film is an enjoyable enough tale and the cast is very strong. The biggest Issue I had is that the plot is fairly linear and may not have enough twists and variation to sustain an older audience during the full run time.

Thankfully there is some amazing animation to go with the great cast and the abundance of Medieval gags in a modern setting make this one that the entire family could enjoy and hopefully will start a new franchise for the studio.

4 stars out of 5


Second review by Joshua Aja

On the day of his 16th birthday Ian Lightfoot (voiced by Tom Holland), is given a magical gift. Ian’s father passed away before he was born and all Ian wanted was to see meet and know his father. But his father has wanted very much to see how Ian and his brother Barley (voiced by Chris Pratt) grown. If there is any magic in the two boys he might be able to see them for one day. The boy’s mother, Laurel (voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus), gives the boys the present she was entrusted with, containing a “visiting” spell that worked on, an ancient magical staff and a rare Phoenix Stone.

Barley, the older brother, tries and tries to use the spell but nothing happens. After everyone leaves Ian reluctantly recites the spell and boom instantly the stone and staff come to life. Before his eyes his dad is appearing. Barley runs in to help but the stone cracks and they are left in a room cluttered and messy. Then they see their dad standing before them…well his legs at least. The stone wasn’t strong enough and only the bottom half of their father has come back. Now the two brothers must go on quest to find another rare stone before the sun sets the next day and their dad is once again gone forever.
This animated epic adventure is written and directed by Dan Scanlon (Monsters University)

This is amazingly well done animation by Disney Pixar set in a world of elves, unicorns, centaurs and more, but with a twist. Magic is replaced by science and technology. So rather than pixies flying about they are driving motorcycles and dragons are nothing more than house pets. It’s a wonderful reimagining of classic magical creatures. The story is cute and has a good underlying lesson, what else would you expect from the studios of Toy Story, Coco, Inside Out, etc. There are decent enough funny moments for the kids and even some for the young at heart. It’s definitely got the star power and story to be very successful.

My wife definitely enjoyed it more than I did but I thought it was better than I did but admittedly this is not something I would typically seek out. I thought the animation was really well done and the story was wholesome and well-paced. I definitely would recommend this to all of my family and friends with children and even those without. It’s definitely worth the price of going to see in the theater.

4 out if 5



About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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