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In Disney and Pixar's ONWARD, two teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad and embark on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley's epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles, and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys' fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes that her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior â aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) â and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed.
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My daughter and I were at D23 in Anaheim three years ago when they announced. The magical world has lost its magic and two brothers set out to meet their dad (inspired by a true even with the writer/director). I could not wait for this one.
Last night, I surprised my two girls and wife with the movie at home, 14 days after its release during this unprecedented time. Our family ranges in age from 8 to 46. For an hour and forty minutes, there wasn't a sound. No one laughed because the jokes are so low-ball and dry and uninspired that it's almost impressive. Even the animation goes choppy, like a bad rip-off of a Pixar film. There is such a GREAT and BEAUTIFUL story hiding here. Something that could have been on par with Up. But the craft of storytelling coming FIRST in most Pixar films is nowhere to be found here. When it comes to the story, character interaction, lack of depth, Mcguffins EVERYWHERE IN EVERY SCENE, literal mistakes where in one scene the cop is called their step-dad and towards the end he's called a boyfriend (either way, it doesn't matter because he is pointless), the lack of connection between any character, the lack of urgency on something so urgent, the lack of growth of any character... terrible!
I was truly excited for this film. But I would, shockingly, place it below The Good Dinosaur and Cars 2 to find its place at the very, very bottom of the 22 Pixar films to date. The best thing I can compare this to is a Norm of the North or Emoji Movie. If those did it for you, than Pixar is your new favorite movie company. If Up, Wall-E, Finding Nemo and Ratatouille are some of your favorite family films ever made, I wish you luck on sitting through this. Not only because it's that bad but it hurts to see Pixar's name on such a terrible film that could have been made by any of the wanna-be's. What a shame, cause that story idea was a beautiful one.... but this may show the cracks of John Lasseter's departure and the Pixar we knew and loved, it may be over. Boy, that hurts to write.