Later on this year will mark the 25th anniversary of the premiere of “Toy Story”, the first feature film from Pixar. Launching in 1995, the movie started a digital animation revolution, which Pixar pretty much dominated for a very long time. Pixar have spent the last 6 years creating the Onward movie which is launching in all cinemas on Friday the 6th of March.
About the film
The film Onward features Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) Lightfoot who are elf brothers in a world that is like ours but inhabited with fantasy creatures such as centaurs and unicorns. The story begins on Ian’s 16th birthday, which is when his late father has planned for him and his older brother to get a gift he left behind for them: a wizard staff (stick) and a spell that would let him return to the land of the living for one day to witness how much they’ve grown. However, the spell goes awry and only brings half of their father back! The brothers now have 24 hours to seek out a gem they need to complete the spell and spend a little time with their father, bringing the half of his body around with them. To help the fact that the spell has only brought back half of their father (the lower half), the brothers attach a stuffed torso to his glowing waist and lead him along with a leash.
The pair both have interesting but very different personalities and characters. Barley loves power metal and is finding it difficult to cope with his emotions whilst Ian is mostly defined by being nervous and wanting friends as well as being embarrassed by his older brother. Barley has a lot about the magic, yet he can’t use the staff their father left them. Ian has the gift, however, doesn’t have a clue about casting spells!
As they set out on their quest together Barley and Ian learn to trust and respect one another, while each comes to understand the ways one another has learned to deal with their fathers’ death. Pixar have created a film that is slightly more emotionally complex than a lot of their other movies but definitely an entertaining watch all the same.
Inspiration behind the film
The film itself is both hilarious and heart-breaking at the same time and would be so for people who have never experienced grief and those that have.
The director of the film and co-writer Dan Scanlon has said that the story is based on a personal experience. Speaking to the Guardian, Dan Scanlon says his father died in a car accident when he was one and his older brother aged three. After story-boarding Pixar’s great hit Cars and directing Monsters University, Scanlon has been encouraged to use his personal stories as inspiration for story lines. He didn’t tell his brother about the film; it has taken six years to make the Onward film. Scanlon said in interview “I wanted to keep him in the dark. Because these movies take so long to make, you kind of want to make them for someone”.
He also went on to say "I want the takeaway to be: talk to that person who went above and beyond for you. Say it now while you can".
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Check out the official Onward trailer below: