Onward: Overrated and Overwatched 

Onward: Overrated and Overwatched 

Aidan Bayne

For those looking for the next big Pixar movie, Onward is not it. After growing up on these giant franchises— Cars, Toy Story, Up, etc.— it’s almost impossible to enjoy something like this. The director, Dan Scanlon, communicates the message of brotherly love and it’s importance. It’s fun in a sense of quirky, family-type comedy, but when examining it, this movie is overrated and tedious.


The protagonist of the film, Ian Lightfoot, is a teenage boy living with his older brother and mom. They live in a magical world with all types of mythical creatures and spells. But, as new technology advanced, the creatures stopped using their magic. On Ian’s 18th birthday, his mother gave him a gift from his father. Ian’s real dad passed away before he was born, so he never actually met him, only a recording of his voice. His father gives him a magical staff with instructions on how to use a gem and the staff to bring him back for one day. Ian is able to conjure only half of his dad, and the gem shatters. Ian and his brother Barley, have to go on a quest to retrieve a second one.


I ended up watching this movie because of quarantine. I was looking for anything to do, and remembered there was a new Pixar movie out on Disney Plus. My friends mentioned to me that it was very good, so my expectations were decently high. I sat down, got comfy, grabbed some popcorn, and watched it. 


It was… disappointing. 


One might think this hour and forty two minute long movie seems appealing, but it’s weird and boring. The movie’s main audience (younger kids), won’t understand the existential problems of the main protagonist, and teens and adults will be bored by slow-paced scenes and lack of suspense. In the movie, the brothers write a letter to their mom that reads, “Be back with mind blowing surprise!!” Why wouldn’t they just bring their mom along?! It seems pretty unrealistic and bothered me for the rest of the movie. Due to this note, the mother calls the police and it causes major inconvenience and wastes time for the boys. I predict most people ended up watching this movie because they saw Tom Holland and Chris Pratt were in it. 


Overall, this movie was way overhyped and not nearly as great as those claim it to be. The pacing and plot could have been done so much better. Don’t get me wrong, this movie wasn’t horrendous, it had good animation and voice acting, just comparing this to the other Pixar movies is like comparing a mansion to a one room apartment. I would rate this movie a ⅖ stars.