‘Onward’ Review | New Pixar movie triggers wistful thoughts about people we’ve lost

Sobbing filled the IMAX cinema as new Pixar film “Onward” reached its third act. All the weepers were grown-ups. Perhaps, because adults understand loss and pain more than kids. 

Of course, it is not a Pixar movie if it is not getting the waterworks going. While it is a knee-slapping comedy, “Onward” revolves around two elf-brothers’ quest to bring back the other half of their deceased father’s body for one day. Introvert Ian longs for what his Dungeons and Dragons nerd brother Barley has - his memories of their dad when he was still alive.

Amid the sumptuous animation and fantastic creatures taking menial jobs, the story is still about the wonder of being human. Anyone who has experienced loss will relate to the characters’ silent moments such as Ian imagining talking with his father’s voice on the cassette tape or Barley reliving the final moments of their father on the hospital bed. There is a number of hilarious scenes too like when Ian has to cross a ravine by believing he can.

Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, who we saw as Spider-Man and Star-Lord in Avengers movies, were perfect for the voice roles. Both actors can be funny and be dramatic. Their versatility gave justice to the fantastic wizarding world of “Onward.”  In a world filled with centaur cops, pixie bikers and pet dragons, it is also a step forward - or should I say a "step onward" - for Pixar to include its first lesbian character in their feature. 

The new Pixar movie triggers wistful thoughts about people we’ve lost, while at the same time, shifts our focus to the people we still have, and the bond we may have to mend as we go through this quest called life.

Rating: 9/10

"Onward" is now showing in the Philippines. The reviewer attended the IMAX premiere hosted by the studio.