Disney and Pixar take us to an urban fantasy world with Onward (2020), their most recent animated movie and their first original story since Coco (2017).
Under the supervision of Dan Scanlon, director of Monsters University (2013), Onward plunges us into a fantasy world where fairytale characters have left magic behind to welcome science and technology. The film tells the adventure of brothers Lightfoot, Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt), two elves who set out in search of a gem to bring their late father back for a day.
Beyond Pixar‘s indisputable technical and visual greatness, Onward is a story about relationships with technology, maturity, and, especially, siblings. Holland and Pratt‘s outstanding performances bring joy and laughter to the screen, which are reinforced by the powerful performances of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Laurel, mother of the brothers, and, in particular, Octavia Spencer in the role of Corey, a manticore who helps the Lightfoot brothers on their adventure. However, despite its achievements and narrative merits, the simplicity of the plot and character development makes it seem more like a typical Disney movie rather than the Pixar greatness we are used to.
Although it was a box office success, Onward didn’t turn out as Disney had expected. Due to the expansion of the COVID-19 or coronavirus, the closing of movie theaters worldwide caused a total box office paralysis, which directly affected the box office of the film and caused Onward to be released on the Disney+ platform just two weeks after its theatrical release. Onward raised over a hundred million dollars worldwide.