Onward: The Kid Friendly Version of ‘Bright’ (Movie Review)

OnwardSince the get go I was saying that this film looked like Netflix’s original movie Bright (2017). Bright (2017) was directed by David Ayer and goes pretty much the same way that all of David Ayer films go, except with fairytale creatures. While the concept of Bright (2017) is brilliant the execution falls very flat. Bright (2017) was cringe-worthy, superficial, and just overall a not-so-good film. Either way we are not here to tear a part Bright (2017). We are here to discuss its lighthearted, whimsical, and much better counterpart, Onward (2020). I remember seeing the first teaser for Onward (2020) and thinking that this is essentially Bright (2017), but with people who actually know what they are doing. I promise, that was the last dig at Bright (2017). Now with Pixar at the helm can we get an epic, modern day, medieval quest movie? Saddle your steed and sheath your blades comrades because we are going on a quest!

Onward (2020) is an animation/adventure/comedy directed by Dan Scanlon, director of Monsters University (2013). The film receives a screenplay from Scanlon and Jason Headley. The film features voices from Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Kyle Bornheimer, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong, Grey Griffin, Tracey Ullman, Wilmer Valderama, George Psarras, and John Ratzenberger. Onward (2020) is produced by Kori Rae, the producer of other Pixar films like Monsters University (2013), The Incredibles (2004), Up (2009), and Monsters, Inc. (2001). The film looks enchanting! The character models and animation are impressive! However, as we all know, great character models and animation are not the only thing that make a film. We have to get to some sort of substance underneath all that gorgeous CG. So visuals and high concept aside we have to ask ourselves if Pixar has another hit on its hands? Well let us traverse the trail of treachery and find out!


As mentioned before Onward (2020) is a film that I have been anticipating since I first saw the teaser. I couldn’t shake the feeling of Bright (2017) whenever I saw the characters of Ian (Holland) and Barley (Pratt) interacting in the teaser. I say this because Bright (2017) featured an orc cop, played by Joel Edgerton, that happened to be the same shade of blue. The other similarities that Onward (2020) shares with Bright (2017) is the fact that mythological and magical creatures have now adapted to modern day society: they drive cars, wear clothes, go to work, and do all sorts of other normal things. I feel that both films do that well, but Onward (2020) does it with more of a creative flare. The characters in Onward (2020), despite being animated, fictitious creatures are relatble. Ultimately, the concept of make believe creatures living in our modern world is done much more effectively in Onward (2020). Pixar never fails to make the impossible seem possible. However, we have to ask… what is this tale all about?

The film begins with a world populated with all sorts of magical creatures living in harmony. We see that magic was something that was highly coveted and utilized by a select few denizens. Despite magic being such a powerful tool it is eventually made obsolete due its scarce amount of wielders and the introduction of technology. Overtime we see how technology brings the once primitive creatures into the modern age with medieval aesthetics, of course. Although tech and science rule the day, magic still manages to find its way into the lives of Ian (Holland) and Barley (Pratt), elf brothers, who are in search of a sacred item that could change their world forever.

I honestly don’t have too much to say about this one because it was so good! It is a great time at the theater! I had so much fun with this and was laughing from beginning to end. The visuals are seamless, but attention grabbing all at the same time. The characters are endearing and exciting. The performance of the voice actors have such energy behind them! It’s a really good time guys, especially for the kids! Though I did want just a little more from Onward (2020) I am still satisfied with what I was seeing on the big screen. Get your tickets guys! Its a fun ride!


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