It’s hard to be critical of the company that gave us some of our most beloved franchises. “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo,” are only a few of the many classics to come from Pixar.
Not only are they timeless but, movies like those mentioned above have shaped a lot of our childhood. We saw Woody as a hero so early on that having a space cadet as a best friend didn’t seem too out of the ordinary. Going infinity and beyond was something worth trying.
In Pixar’s newest film, “Onward,” the children of 2020 are given the chance to watch a brother duo attempt to bring back the other half of their late father. And yes, I meant to say ‘other half.’ A lone pair of khakis with no body attached takes up more screen time than most of the other characters.
With strange but cute looking characters, some green, some blue, some with horns, some with wings, the movie asks its audience to see value in companionship. Pixar is often credited with teaching children some of the most valued messages.
When Remy from Ratatouille was able to become a five-star chef in France, children saw the possibility to be anything they wanted. In Pixar’s 2015 film “Inside Out,” the story about the inner-workings of a children's brain offered up the idea that maybe feeling everything was okay, and the only way to navigate your emotions was to allow them to exist.
In “Onward,” Ian, the youngest of the two, has his eyes set on the final prize of being able to speak to his father for the first time. Having passed away before Ian had the chance to meet him, the young boy lives his life idolizing him and stumbles upon his own wizard-like powers on his 16th birthday.
The dad leaves behind a gift, offering the chance to bring him back to life one last time. This opportunity is tied up in a spell that Barley, his brother, seems to know more about than the rest of them. The two embark on a quest that outlines just how important quality time with someone you love can be.
A timely sentiment, in my opinion. As I’m stuck behind my front door, often finding things to critique about these quarantimes, I realize just how lucky I might be. I think in months, years from now when this is all over, if you can make it out alive with your loved ones, count that as a victory well-worth celebrating.
The movie delivers the essence of brotherhood on a silver platter. Barley, the magic-believing, somewhat aloof older brother turns out to be the consistent, wise, playful person Ian was looking for. The realization that the leader-esque figure we might be looking for can be in a sibling, a friend, or just someone other than a mom or dad that occupies most of the nurturing roles in movies warmed the hearts of many, including my own. Hug your friends the next time you can, maybe try and understand why your sibling is acting (even if it’s annoying) the way they are. Overall, thanks Pixar for giving us a lighter moment in a tunnel of dark.