The new animated story Onward


Stella Birrenkott

Onward premiered in theaters on March 6th of 2020. Onward is the story of teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot who embark on a quest to bring back their late father. The city of New Mushroomton was once inhabited by magical creatures, and magic helped the world flourish. Over time, innovations like electricity and technology became commonplace and magic slowly fizzled out. On Ian’s 16th birthday, his mom gives him and his older brother Barley a letter and a wizard staff from their late father, who Ian never had the chance to meet. Barley is fluent in the history of magic and realizes that letter describes a “visitation spell” used with the rare gem, which would bring back their dad for 24 hours. Barley tries to use the spell to no avail, but when Ian tries it later that day, it works, and Barley realizes that Ian is able to use the magic staff. Ian is inexperienced, and even with Barley’s help, the gem disintegrates before the spell is complete. Only the bottom half of their dad returns, and Barley is able to communicate with him by tapping on his shoes like he did when he was a toddler. The brothers need to find another rare gem to complete the spell and spend as much time with their dad as possible. Ian is voiced by Tom Holland, Barley is voiced by Chris Pratt, their mom is voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the Manticore is voiced by Octavia Spencer. Onward also includes the voice talents of Wilmer Valderrama and John Ratzenberger. Onward is directed by Dan Scanlon, who also directed the Pixar movie Monsters University. The movie’s premiere came just before the national emergency of COVID-19 and received insufficient box-office success. Regardless, Onward has received high ratings and is a wonderful piece of Pixar animation. The movie came to Disney’s streaming platform Disney Plus on April 3rd, less than a month after it’s initial release. Onward is a magical story of two brothers embarking on a quest to bring back their dad, and discover what they are truly capable of.