Thursday April 9th 2020

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April 2020 Movie Corner




Animation /Adventure/Action
Pixar Pictures
3.5 of 5

Pixar never (or almost never) makes an animation that isn’t heart warming, inspirational, or both. The latest is “Onward”, not on the same level as “Toy Story”(1995), “Toy Story 2” (1999),””UP” (2009), “Inside Out” (2015) and WALLE” (2008); but is still entertaining and warmhearted.

Ian (Tom Holland) looks on his bedroom wall to see pictures of his father who passed away while he was a toddler. He misses him dearly and so does his older brother Barley (Chris Pratt). Ian is quite shy and Barley is brass and a bit immature.

On Ian’s 16th birthday, the boys’mother, Laurel Lightfoot (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), gives a gift to him and to his brother from his father–a wizard staff that has the power to bring back their father for 24 hours. While Ian is experimenting with the magic stick something goes wrong conjuring up only the bottom half of their father and the gem on top of the staff disappears. The top half is in a far off land. Barley, Ian, and the bottom half of dad jump into Barley’s old van taking off on a quest to rejoin the top half of their father having only 24 hours to do so. “Onward” becomes a road movie twisting and turning on highways, country roads, and running into dead ends with run-ins with biker gang fairies at a gas station and stop at a mystical restaurant owned by The Manticore (Octavia Spencer).

This entire wild, winding quest is fun to see with all kinds of creatures—Cyclops, elves, centaurs, manticores, unicorns on screen. Pixar is very adept at turning goofball action into lively adventures. Come to think of it, “Outward” has a bit of Harry Potter up it’s sleeves and maybe a slight touch of” E.T. Extra-Terrestrial,” (Pixar’s first film without any involvement from John Lasseter, following his departure as CEO of Disney’s Animation Areas.) “Onward’ is about family—the microcosm of any society. To have a father missing is a serious gap in any family.

Cast: Tom Holland (Ian Lightfoot), Chris Pratt (Barley Lightfoot), Julia Loius-) Drefus (Laurel Lightfoot), Octavia Spencer (The Manticore), Mel Rodriguez (Colt Bronco), Kyle Bornheimer (Wilden Lightfoot), Lena Waithe (Officer Spencor), Ali Wong (Officer Gore), Grey Griffin (Dewdrop), Tracey Ullman (Gr Johner Ualderrama (Gaxton), George Psarras (Officer Avel), John Ratzenberger (Construction Worker).

Director: Dan Scanton. Running time:114 minutes. (PG)

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