Hi, my name is Shillosaurus Rex, senior editor of Buzzfeed, and I’ll be doing a guest review of the movie Onward. A lot of critics are giving the movie mediocre reviews, which is so sad. Our world is in a fight for its life against the coroner’s virus, so do we really need more negativity and ‘critics’? I didn’t think so, so here’s a POSITIVE review of Onward.
You may have heard of this startup studio called Pixar – they make GREAT family movies. Remember Cars 2 and The Good Dinosaur? Me neither, so we won’t talk about them here. This year, they’ve blessed us with Onward, a magical family adventure about magic and family adventures.
Let’s start with the world-building. True to Pixar’s style, Onward is an INCREDIBLE feat of worldbuilding. This time, it’s urban fantasy – how original! Pixar is really good at taking new worlds and fusing them with elements from OUR world for maximum comic value. I hate to exaggerate, but Pixar has really outdone itself in the cleverness department this time.
For example, that scene in Onward where the pegasi are eating out of the trash like alley cats – it’s funny because I know what cats are, but in the world of Onward, the pegasi are the cats! Or when a self-absorbed high-school satyr threatens to leave a 1-star review of the restaurant. It’s funny because high school girls in the real world threaten to leave 1-star reviews. But in Onward, they’re satyrs! LOL!
Can we take a quick paragraph to acknowledge that Onward is THE most diverse Pixar movie to-date? You may have heard rumors that there’s a LESBIAN character, and I’m here to confirm those rumors are TRUE. There is in fact ONE throwaway line where a female character mentions her girlfriend. I couldn’t believe it, I stood up and applauded in the theater. I’m so glad that LGBTQ characters finally get one whole line of dialogue. It’s like, it’s just not a big deal anymore, you know? Kudos to Pixar for being so brave (pun intended).
But now for the heart of the story. On one level, the movie is about a father-son quest. Ian (voiced by Tom Hollandaise) misses his deceased father. In his notebook, he writes what he would do with his father if he were alive: “play catch”, “laugh together”, “heart to heart”, and “share my life with him”. Wow. I was just in tears at how emotionally complex his character was, especially contrasted with his goofball brother Barley (Chris Pratt!!!!).
But true to form, Pixar subverted my expectations. A movie about two sons bringing back their father was REALLY about two brothers bonding. I would have NEVER seen that twist coming, because the brothers are such opposites! But that’s what made the story so dramatic and overwhelming. Bring a box of tissues, you’ll DEFINITELY need it.
Can we also talk about the sideplot with the mom (Julia Richard-Dreyfuss) and the Manticore (Octavia Spencer, from Ma). Talk about feminism. They are two strong, independent women whose quest is at least HALF as important as the men’s. And during the finale, when the mom shouts ‘I am a warrior!’ – mmm, preach girl. This movie is a huge step forward for women: they can be mothers, restaurant owners, sleazy pawn shop employees, badass bikers, lesbian cops… The possibilities are ENDLESS, just like the world of Onward. It’s like Captain Marvel on magical steroids ROTFLOL.
So, should you see Onward? Absolutely! It’s got a lot to say about family, destiny, REAL magic, and family. And also, it’s a great movie if you love D&D. Because now D&D is the hip thing. EVERYBODY plays D&D, and Disney knows it, so they’ve marketed the movie to hip young adults who grew up on Pixar and now play D&D because they want to be perpetual children. They sure know their audience!
Oh, ONE. LAST. THING. You know how Pixar always has an animated short film before their movies? Well, THIS TIME it was The Simpsons! (this is 100% true by the way). I love being reminded that Disney owns every property in the entertainment industry. And who cares about using the short film as a way for Pixar artists to showcase the latest breakthroughs in computer animation. Who doesn’t adore THE SIMPSONS?? I was DYING!! Seriously, go spend two hours of your life on this movie. It’s AMAZING.Follow @ReelMasterShots