“Onward” charms yet ultimately underwhelms

When Ian and Barley Lightfoot (Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) discover they can spend one day with their father who died when they were young, they embark on an ambitious quest to see what magic is left in the world.

When you go into a Disney-Pixar film, you expect a certain caliber of innovation and creative storytelling. You expect to be dazzled and moved. To be shook to the core with memorable characters and powerful moments.

Unfortunately, Onward did not do this to me.

The tale of brotherhood is full of heart and humor, tackling the emotions of growing up with an absent parent and dealing with grief. Onward charms and entertains but lacks the impact films such as Up, Coco and Inside Out have.

You can not deny the chemistry between Pratt and Holland but, unfortunately, it doesn’t make Ian and Barley the next Woody and Buzz. The other supporting characters, although plucky, are rather forgettable. If anything, the Weekend at Bernie’s legs were my favorite character which says a lot.

Another disappointment was the lack of originality. Set in a fantastical land with magic, wizards, trolls and elves, I expected more wit and creativity in the same vein as Zootopia or Wreck-It Ralph. Instead, I felt like Onward played it safe and focused more on executing the simple story rather than the creating those special details that make animated films so unique.

I know. I know. I shouldn’t compare Onward to other Pixar films, but it is so hard not to when these films have set such a high standard for animated film.

One thing that is not a letdown is the animation itself. Pixar’s capability to capture texture, color, vibrancy and granular details are astounding. I am sure they will keep us in awe for years to come as technology progresses.

Listen. It’s not that I hated Onward. It’s not that I loved it. I was just disappointed

Final Thoughts: Charmingly average family entertainment, Onward is not as great as it could be.

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