This year we have a double serving of original from Pixar, which is a very good news after so many sequels. The first of these is ‘Onward’, the new Dan Scanlon (‘Monsters University’), a film that takes us to a fantasy world to, basically, leave it devoid of almost all magic. So we had a first preview that, surprisingly, not allowed to see the real story of this film, and that is so that really worth to pay an entrance fee.
‘Onward’ is focused on Ian Lightfoot, an elf who has just turned 16 years old, and her older brother, Barley. Ian did not know her father because he died when I was very small. On his birthday, his mother gives him a gift that he had left his father and that could only be open when both of them were 16 years old or more: a magic stick, a stone and a spell that would bring her father back for a day. But the spell goes wrong and only managed to bring back life to the lower half of his father. To bring the other half will have to find another stone like the one that came with the stick, and will have to hurry because in 24 hours, the spell will end and your father will be gone forever.
The first promotional pieces they wanted to focus very much on the stage of the story because it really sounded as interesting as it was ‘Zootrópolis’, of Disney Animation. A world populated by creatures of fantasy that once supported a lot in the magicbut as the magic was only accessible to people who had “the gift” and also had to learn to dominate it, found other ways to overcome the obstacles of the day-to-day: started by the electricity and ended up evolving in a world like ours, with cars, televisions and smartphones. A world in which magic no longer had any utility and has been completely forgotten. However, even if you have a premise extremely interesting, and the ideas are very well thought out (like those unicorns that have ended up converted into vermin that scavenged in the garbage), this suburb fantastic does not have sufficient importance in the plot to make it a character and yes it was Zootrópolis. Even develop that apparent primary idea of wanting to criticize a society excessively based in the technology or in the easy solutions, that already do not know how to see the magic in the world. The thing is not going out there.
Because ‘Onward’ dedicated all the attention (and practically all of the footage) to Ian and Barley and brewing. Something absolutely logical by the seed of the plot: Dan Scanlon was based on his own story (he lost his father when he was very small and his brother was his biggest support in the later years), then thought how much he would like to see his father at least once, and in thinking about the component dreamy it ended up taking with this idea of a world of magic without magic. What is important here is the relationship of these brothers and how it evolves in this adventure in which they embark “on the back” of the van ramshackle Barley. They are the soul of ‘Onward’ and, luckily, that soul works wonders. Tom Holland puts voice to Ian, the brother is shy and a coward, Chris Pratt to Barley, the stray bullet who never think about the danger until it is already immersed in it. Two choices of casting amazing, we can almost see the actors instead of the elves, but also know give them a lot of personality beyond to make them recognizable. The adventure in which they get is more conventional: to go from one point to another to find the stone. But it is his evolution, and the evolution of their relationship that matters in this whole story. And in that, Pixar returns to give the nail on the head, or rather in the heart. The two have a personality well-marked and a path to follow, and both of them as their link encourage us to continue this adventure until the end.
Precisely what is the adventure is the most surprising of a studio such as Pixar. Of someone who has given so many masterpieces are always waiting for something more, and the development of ‘Onward’ doesn’t have it. It is an adventure very standard that is able to keep the pace, but that doesn’t bring anything new to the other “search of treasures”. The development is not bored and has some moments of lucidity, especially when it becomes more ‘Indiana Jones’ or ‘the Lord of The Rings’, but it is a procedure to reveal a third act where Pixar really gets to show its potential and gives us all the emotion, the tenderness and the tears that we require flexo. The final stretch is gorgeous, and helps to close ‘Onward’ with a good taste in your mouth (and without the post-credits scene, I must say). With a very good taste.
The family is what matters
Because ‘Onward’ what you really want to have is a story about family ties and the lossbut giving a rodeo with an adventure. The important thing, the feelings, it works perfectly. The other part highlights the affection with which have included the references to the fantasy and the use of role-playing games to give shape to the components and magical guide to the characters in your mission (thank you in the credits to a team of ‘D&D’ that have helped them in this work). The magic has the strength sufficient to demonstrate its power and throw it at least a setting so mundane but with so much potential. And of course the technical section is ten, from the character design to the color palette of the scenery or the lighting.
In addition to Ian and Barley, are three more characters. The first is the mother of the protagonists (with the voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a woman who has had to raise two children alone and that he would do everything for them. The second is the Mantícora, a mythological creature that was once a symbol of adventure, but it represents perfectly the evolution of this world without magic: now is the manager of a children’s restaurant. Octavia Spencer gives us very good moments as the voice of this beast, half-lion, half scorpion, which makes a comedy duo very cool with the boys ‘ mothervery necessary because the tape is tight enough on mood. Finally, the third in discord in this scenario: the father. To give expression to a pair of legs is very complicatedbut the team of Dan Scanlon has managed to play very well with the feet of the father to create your personality and be able to communicate with their children without being able to speak. It is an obstacle self-imposed but it works for drama as to give another comic relief. With five forges this film, and characters are worked, which will make you want to and are likely to be able to conquer to children and the elderly.
It is possible that ‘Onward’ not to be remembered as one of the great gems of Pixar. Without a doubt, is not as groundbreaking or original as some of the last original work of the seal of animation. Perhaps the adventure has left them a little short and like most (or all) the lovers of fantasy and role-playing. Perhaps we sound to work many other times seen by other studies. But Pixar is still knowing how to bewitch the heart with a story that with the maturity that others are not able to achieve, and permeates the way of a developing great characters and crumbs of wit aimed at audiences of all ages. If you have brothers, or if you have lost a loved one and you know what that daríais by to spend an extra day with him, this movie I will touch very strong. And if not, has all the reasons to pay an entry: characters are well built, a section outstanding technical and a tenderness that shows that Pixar, until they achieved excellence, knows how to reach the heart.
‘Onward’ is released in cinemas March 6,.
The best part: The final section is pure Pixar. The two protagonists, the evolution of their relationship.
The worst: The adventure is too mainstream. Pixar is you can expect a lot more.