Released in theatres on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Pixar’s latest creation, “Onward”, offers us a title full of promise.
From the very first seconds of the film, we understand that we will be projected into a universe where fantastic creatures will play a leading role. We enter the family life of Ian’s family, a young introverted high school student who lives with his mother and his older brother, Barley, who seems to be opposed to him in every way. We quickly guess that the father of the family has died of a serious illness. On his 16th birthday, Ian is given a present that their father had prepared before he died. It is a wizard’s stick, accompanied by a spell that should allow the two boys to make their father reappear for a day. Of course, for Barley, who was very young when he died, and Ian, who didn’t even get to know him, the desire is immense, but unfortunately the spell only works partially. Barley and Ian must therefore go in search of what will allow them to finalize the spell and see their father again.
The film is a little long to start. Some time is needed to set the context of an era that sees its fantastic creatures disappearing or being deprived of their magical potential.
Then we are captivated! The adventure is hectic, full of surprises and twists. The magical creatures are numerous and each one holds an important place. There is no time out, apart from the start of the story.
Ian and Barley’s quest keeps us on the edge of our seats, all the more so as time is running out for them! Each misadventure is an obstacle to the reunion between the two youngsters and their father and we can’t help but keep our fingers crossed that everything will go as smoothly as possible. The result of Ian’s initial spell is surprising to say the least, and the role of the “father” is, despite his very strange appearance, essential. The script of the film is original and poetic. The theme of the initiatory quest, rites and legends is quite popular today but proposing it to a young audience is more unexpected. The characters are endearing and their evolution to create a true brotherhood is very moving.
If the basic subject matter is rather sad, you only really feel the tears rising at the end of the film. This one is quite frustrating because it doesn’t offer a complete “happy ending”! One is literally overwhelmed and tears come easily: as much from sadness at not seeing the dream of the two young boys fulfilled to the end as from the emotion caused by the real reunion of the brothers who, even if they had never physically left each other, had cruelly drifted apart over the years.
The theme is deep, and clearly not the aim of a superficial film whose sole purpose is entertainment. It makes us think about the meaning of life, reconsider the importance of human feelings and relationships.
On the other hand, humour is less present than in other films of the genre, even if this one presents some quite funny scenes and replicas. The visuals are not as bluffing as usual: the graphics are nice but not breathtaking. Finally, the soundtrack of the movie doesn’t leave an imperishable memory, without being bad.
We had a great time in front of “Onward”, we were carried away by the story, transported in the quest of the two characters, taken by the emotion. Once again, the magic happened!