“Onward is a story of an endearing quest between brothers that teaches us to love the ones we have, trust destiny and speak your hearts fire! Onward shows us the wisdom in sacrificing what we thought we needed and wanted but had all along in the ones who love us.” – Meg Harrell of megforit.com
Here comes another love filled marriage between the creative geniuses of Disney Animation Studios and Pixar! From the trailer, I got the impressions that this would be a silly movie I could watch once in the theater with my kids. I was wrong.
Onward is “laugh out loud” hilarious, rich in deep thought-provoking narrative and emotional enough to make me cry. A LOT. Here, watch the trailer and make your own first impression, then read the rest of this post and go see the movie for yourself.
Onward Opening Scenes & Character Introduction
“Long ago there was magic, over time the magic faded.” We open the movie with the main character Ian’s (voiced by Tom Holland) 16th birthday morning.
We are introduced to Ian’s family: the mother Laurel (voiced by Julia Louis-Drefus), older brother Barley (voiced by Chris Pratt) and a late father who passed away when he was very young.
Ian is missing his father at this momentous birthday and starts searching for more about who he was. He learned about how his father was bold, confident and popular. He was everything Ian is not and wishes to be.
It’s so relatable that many of us, at any age, are looking to be a better version of ourselves. We see traits in others that we wish we had. We wish to be more bold and more confident. Ian is no different.
Onward Movie Plot
Through a series of incredible events. Ian discovers he has “magic” inside of him and attempts to catch a spell his father has left behind!
Ian’s brother tells him that in the “olden days” when you turned 16, you had to embark on a quest. Ian scoffs at this idea but still somehow ends up fulfilling the past and embarks on an epic quest to bring back his father. In moments of peril, Ian’s true character is revealed.
Isn’t that true of all of us in our lives journey? In moments of desperation, the magic from within bubbles to the surface.
Life Lessons from Onward
There is such a relatable depiction of how we all search our ancestors to better understand ourselves. We do this by asking and retelling family stories, ordering DNA kits online and identifying with the language, culture and our country of origin.
We all want to know ourselves more than anyone else. It is our grand quest in life. But maybe who we are is how we live this present moment. Despite the blood flowing through our veins and the decisions of previous generations – we are the most ourselves today and however we choose to live it.
In a touching moment, Barley shares a venerable memory he has where he was scared to show love. He regrets it so much that he vows to be fearless from that point on. This serves him well on his life journey. This shows us that life trauma can shape our character.
Best Parts of Onward *NO SPOILERS*
I can’t tell you how funny this movie is. From the feral unicorns to the amount of personality a pair of pants can have – you will be laughing!
Thank you, Pixar, for the glorious Guinevere moment. May you rest in peace, you noble steed.
When a movie shows an empowered momma kicking butt and saving the day – I support and promote its message! You’ll have to see the movie to know what I’m talking about. wink wink.
There is also a pivotal scene that teaches us the importance of relying on the truth. When a certain spell will not work unless Ian tells the truth, we realize how even a little white lie can be dangerous.
At the end of that scene and throughout the rest of the movie the viewer learns to trust in a power greater than yourself, trust in your talent, and trust the ones you’ve chosen to love.
Onward is safe for all ages, some mild peril but the PG rating is true and honest. Bring everyone to see this, it’s message and plot elements are something everyone will identify with.
Pixar’s Onward has Lord of the Rings level medieval adventure partnered with the power that Disney has to push our emotional buttons – Onward will also catch you in the feels!
This movie gets a 5 outa 5 from me. I could watch this movie 10 more times and still get something from it. I cried like a baby in the last 15 minutes. So, let this post be a warning to you – bring tissues and “let it go!”. I’ll see YOU at the movies!
Re-live the Movie Onward with Activities
Here is a super fun Memory game you can print and play!
Look at this Onward themed maze you can print out for your kiddos!
Enjoy these fun coloring pages with the characters from Onward!
Onward is coming to theaters March 6, 2020. Available for digital download end of March 2020 and streaming on Disney+ April 3rd.