Rent Onward (2020)

3.6 of 5 from 178 ratings
1h 38min
Rent Onward Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
In Disney and Pixar's Onward, teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, so they embark on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley's epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys' fearless mum Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realises that her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior - aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) - and heads off to find them.
Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed. "It's pure, perfect Pixar"
Directors:
Producers:
Kori Rae
Voiced By:
Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Kyle Bornheimer, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong, Grey Griffin, Tracey Ullman, Wilmer Valderrama, George Psarras, John Ratzenberger
Writers:
Dan Scanlon, Keith Bunin, Jason Headley
Studio:
Walt Disney
Genres:
Anime & Animation, Children & Family, New Releases
BBFC:
Release Date:
01/06/2020
Run Time:
98 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description, Italian
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing, Italian
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary
BBFC:
Release Date:
01/06/2020
Run Time:
102 minutes
Languages:
Castilian Spanish, Catalan, English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing, Spanish
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary with Filmmakers
  • Quest for Story
  • Citizens of New Mushroomton
BBFC:
Release Date:
01/06/2020
Run Time:
102 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description, German
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing, German
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
BBFC:
Release Date:
01/06/2020
Run Time:
102 minutes
Languages:
Canadian French, English, English Audio Description, Spanish
Subtitles:
Canadian French, English Hard of Hearing, Spanish
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B

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Reviews (1) of Onward

Pixar have made a Dreamworks film - Onward review by PW

Spoiler Alert
01/07/2020

Pixar have made some of the most near-perfect films of our generation.

But this is just ... OK. It's the sort of by-the-numbers Pixar copies that Dreamworks make. It's not actually "bad", but (for Pixar) it's embaressing.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Onward review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Pixar pulls off yet another fine picture showcasing what they do best in their masterworks of animation: a detailed sense of worldbuilding with a movingly emotional story behind it. Considering their previous pictures of late, Onward may be their most ambitious picture to date, blending a suburban fantasy with an adventure of loss and family that is anything but stock. One more bit of proof that the biggest animation studio is still striving for the best out of the medium.

Onward takes place in a fantasy world of magic. Or at least it used to be. Magic has all but vanished not because of some dark force of evil but due to the industrialization of their world. Unless you consider industrialization the real enemy of this picture, which it kinda is and is certainly worthy of a much lengthier piece that can’t fit into this review. At any rate, elves and trolls now live in the suburbs.

There are two young elves we follow. Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) is a nervous outsider, too tense to complete his driving test on his 16th birthday. His older brother Barley (Chris Pratt) is the exact opposite as a D&D playing rebel with an eccentric love for fantasy, more properly observed in this world as historical fantasy. They live with their active single mom who has a nosey cop for a boyfriend. Their father passed away when the two brothers were very young and the loss still weighs a bit on them.

But then something amazing happens. Magic seems to return to their world when the brothers discover dad left behind a magical staff and crystal that can bring their father back from the dead for one day. The two can finally get some closure especially since Ian never fully met his father and Barley only has a handful of memories about him. But when the crystal breaks mid-spell and they only have a lower half of their father, they set out on a quest to recover another crystal in time to speak with their father.

While there’s comfy ease for turning this into a road-trip buddy picture, Pixar has remarkable restraint when it comes to kind of adventure. There are a lot urban fantasy gags that could’ve crowded the screen and overtaken the story, from the unicorns that act like feral cats of the neighborhood to centaurs cops that hardly run in their unhealthy modern lifestyle. At one point, the film is nearly hijacked by the hijinks of a punk fairy gang that prefers more to ride motorcycles than use their wings to fly. For the most part, however, the emotional story is never lost. All the absurdity feels perfectly placed as the color for the world rather than the world itself.

The dynamic between Ian and Barley is intriguing not just for the opposites attract chemistry. They have major reasons for wanting to see their dad for some closure which reveals more clearly over the course of the film. One of the most unexpected moments of tear-jerking features the mostly bold Barley revealing that his last memory of his father was not the best, remarking how he couldn’t bring himself to see his dad on life support. That’s a real pain of regret in a loss that I honestly didn’t expect out of such a picture, even for one as adultly mindful as a Pixar production. It’s also moving to see Ian recognize this side of his brother and realize how much he can learn from his family.

Though the B plot of their mom Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) teaming up with the aged manticore Corey (Octavia Spencer) doesn’t feel as touching, it’s still fun to see a story of older women taking charge and breaking out of their shells on their own road trip. They also seem to have the most action scenes as well. So if you ever wanted to see a pear-shaped mom wielding a magic sword and fighting a dragon, your film has arrived.

Onward resonates so well for being a funny and frenetic fantasy adventure, sure, but for also being daring enough to present a rather adult story. Very few animated with dead parents ever dares to question how hard that loss can be, especially when it’s at such a young age and from the disease. Where other animated films hide from the somber, Pixar triumphantly pursues the rockier and more exciting road of animated entertainment.

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