‘Onward’ Film Review: A Heartwarming Sense of Déjà Vu

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“‘I think, with a little bit of magic in your life, you can do almost anything.”

From the world-renowned Pixar comes a new adventure filled to the brim with excitement, amusement, and deep heartfelt moments. While the story itself doesn’t reinvent the wheel it still serves its purpose as an entertaining animated film.

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Overview

Two teenage elf brothers Barley (Chris Pratt) & Ian (Tom Holland) must set out on an adventure to spend one more day with their late father. Along the way, Ian must practice his newfound skills while their mother Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) attempts to get them back.

Magical Chemistry

While the plot is straightforward, along the way are some memorable characters and beautiful locales to boot. Holland & Pratt have both shared the screen together before so it’s not surprising that they play off each other well. From beginning to end I believe in their relationship as people who truly care for each other.

Barley would do anything for his brother and it’s expressed without shoving it in the audience’s faces. Laurel also plays a bigger role than expected in the film, in fact, there weren’t any characters that bothered me while they were on screen.

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Going into the film I believed it would entirely be about the two brothers but I was wrong. The movie benefits from having other characters with big roles. Even some with small roles give the film some added spectacle and its satisfying to watch play out.

World Building Done Right

From the opening shot, the audience is aware that their world is similar to ours except it’s filled with magical beasts. From unicorns digging through the trash like raccoons to centaurs riding in police cars, this magical land has been brought to the modern world.

To see these creatures placed in such an environment is refreshing it’s not where you’d expect to see them.

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Same Old Same Old

While the overall idea for the film is fresh this isn’t an animated tale that breaks the mold. At the end of the day, it doesn’t tell a story that most audiences haven’t heard before.

However, that doesn’t make the film bad the idea of a family being able to reunite with their dead father is a story that I didn’t think I’d see from Pixar. At times the film really tugs at some heartstrings and it touched my heart. That’s a mature theme that I’m sure will leave audiences surprised that the film dealt with that.

While it’s great that most will be able to connect to the movie on an emotional level that doesn’t take away the fact that there is manufactured tension between the brothers. In most animated films at some point, the main characters will have a little bit of a falling out.

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Everyone watching knows that they’ll make it up to each other and it’s just a matter of time before they do. I’ll love it when one day writers decide they don’t need to have something separate from the main characters in every film. It’s just exhausting at this point.

Conclusion

The idea for Onward to mix the modern world with magical characters was great. With plenty of sight gags as well as all the magic sequences the film just wouldn’t be the same if the story took place during a different time.

The film is entertaining, to say the least, and the chemistry between Tom Holland and Chris Pratt is strong from the very beginning. Their characters are both some of the best parts of the film and having them on screen together makes the movie even stronger.

Onward doesn’t tell a story that most people who have seen a film before haven’t seen. Many of the story beats are copy and pasted from other films. While I’d prefer for completely new ideas most animated films do fall into the realm of not being entirely original.

Even though the film isn’t too innovative that doesn’t make it non-enjoyable. It’s fun and adventurous you feel like you’re joining the characters on their quest. Not only that you truly support the main duo because at the end of the day who wouldn’t wanna see someone special they lost even if it was only for a day.

Verdict 8 out of 10 Stars

Has Family Guy gone on too long?

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With 18 seasons and counting, Family Guy is one of the longest-running cartoons to have aired. For decades the show has been the cause of many laughs and positive memories. However, in the last few years, many have wondered should the show even continue it’s run?

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Down Hill

It’s no secret that Family Guy does not carry the same quality that it had at the beginning of the shows run. To have a show last that long is not easy and the crazy antics can get stale.

There’s only so many times where Peter Griffin can do something idiotic and apologize at the end of the episode. Only to be met with forgiveness every single time before things start to get a little stale.

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Family Guy still has their fair share of laughs but even 10 seasons ago the series was highly regarded as just a funny show. Today I rarely hear anyone talking about the brand new episode of Family Guy it just does not have the same relevance as before.

Fixing the Issue

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In its 18th season, Family Guy has delivered nothing out of the ordinary. The show in its current state is not worse or better than other recent seasons. Personally, I hate that shows can get away with being just average. This show, in particular, had a pretty great run and could get back to its former glory.

I think that Family Guy needs to feel like it’s writers are genuinely trying to make a quality show. Give audiences more diverse stories and I’m certain it would help. We all know Peter is an idiot but that shouldn’t get every single story on its way. Give us something new while also retaining what the fans have loved from the beginning.

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Conclusion

If Family Guy continues in its current direction then it’d probably be better if the show came to an end. Such a long-running series is bound to run into issues but it seems like the writers don’t care too much about making a quality show. The past few seasons have just been okay which just isn’t good enough.

The future of Family Guy is in the hands of those who make it and only they can choose if they want their series relevant in 2020. If the show can be as original and funny as it has in the past I have no worries about the future of the series however if they can’t then Family Guy will just stay an average adult comedy when it could be so much more.