Thank you to Disney for hosting us at a screening of Onward as a part of the Disney Creators Celebration.
Who is Onward for? What about the parent loss subject? Is it too mature for young kids? Or has Pixar hit another home run with this one? This Onward review shares who should see Pixar’s newest film and who should not.
Pixar’s latest release, Onward has been highly anticipated. Since we had the opportunity to visit the Pixar campus a few years ago, I’ve been especially attached to anything released from their amazing creative teams. I love that Pixar pushes boundaries, they try truly encourage discussion and address important topics in their films, and that they do so in a family friendly way. I have to admit, I had concerns about this film. Pixar’s Onward centers around two brothers and the parent they have lost. In the film, Ian and Barley Lightfoot go on a quest with the hopes to reunite with the father they lost when they were very young. With the help of magic, and some guidance their father left behind, the elf brothers attempt to bring their father back for one day. How would that be addressed? Would it be triggering for kids or adults who had recently lost someone? While death is not a new topic in a Pixar or a Disney film, it’s usually not this CENTRAL to the plot.
Onward Review: Who Should See It? A Parent’s Thoughts
Plot: Let me tell you, the plot of the film and the overall story arc? Pleasantly surprised me. Full disclosure, we screened this film at about 8 am after a long couple days in the Disney Parks and I was VERY ready for the kids to be tired and fall asleep. Everyone of us? Were awake and engaged the entire film. It flowed beautifully, and the magical characters were a great way to discuss a difficult topic in a way that is kid friendly. The film addresses a number of important topics in addition to the loss of a parent. We see relationships with stepparents, it shows a beautiful relationship between brothers, and (huge round of applause here) Pixar’s Onward features the first LGBTQ animated character in a Disney-Pixar film. These important topics are seamlessly woven into the story, and I love how honestly and openly they are addressed. Pixar did a beautiful job of addressing mature topics in a family friendly way that is appropriate for kids and the story of the Lightfoot brothers? Is fun, playful, and relatable.
Lydia’s Thoughts and her Onward Review:
“It was really cool. I liked how they followed clues to go on a quest and seeing the magical characters.”
“It was not scary, it was really fun to watch.”
Is It Scary? Is it Sad?: If you’ve watched the trailer, then you saw some fire breathing characters and some few suspenseful moments. We watched the film in a roomful of kids…..and I’m happy to report none of them were scared. The characters are playful, relatable, and not scary at all. Is is sad? If you have a child who has experienced loss, this film DEFINITELY will bring that up. It’s a central part of the plot. I do think that is something to consider as you buy tickets. Where is your family in the grief process? This could be a great touchstone or talking point if you’re ready for it.