Onward is funny, touching, adventurous and has touches of drama but mostly the first three themes define the film.
Elf, Ian Lightfoot , wishes he could have memories of his Dad. However, Dad, died when he was a baby and his older brother Barley was a small child.
As he has grown up Ian settles into urban life but Barley wants to hold onto the magic that their world used to live by even if nobody else agrees.
On the morning of Ian’s sixteenth birthday their mother Laurel encourages Ian to invite kids from high school to his party. And much to his embarrassment, Barley wants to give his brother a fun time. He has plans to give Ian a “wizard and magic” inspired day.
However, Ian has no desire for this until their mother gives him a magic staff and spell. Items Dad, Widen got and wrote to bring himself back for twenty four hours.
Barley goes all out to try and get the magic wand and crystal to work but keeps failing. Ian chooses to try and the spell works until his brother gets too enthusiastic. The result their Dad stands in Ian’s bedroom from the waist down.
To fix this Barley takes Ian in his van Guinevere to get another crystal. Ian wants to take the easy path but Barley wants to make it a great adventure. To begin it he tells Ian they must get a map.
It belongs to The Manticore who runs a family restaurant and has put her adventure past behind her. She tells Barley and Ian that she won’t give them the map. They boys try to convince her otherwise. And Manticore sticks to this until slowly she realizes she is not happy. This results in her burning down her restaurant.
As it does the boys get enough info from the map before it burns so they can continue their adventure. In the meantime Laurel figures out the boys have gone and she speeds out in the family car to find them and hooks up with Manticore. At the same time, her boyfriend Colt Bronco tries to help as well and for a chunk of the film is on the brink more than once to catch the boys.
As I wrote at the beginning of this review the film funny, adventurous, and has some drama. However, although the ending has the most impact and did bring tear to my eyes, I did not have a good cry like I did with Inside Out. I do not regret seeing the film it is very good it just lacks that little bit that would have taken it to another level.