Onward (2020) (mini-review++)

ONWARD-Online-Use-t313_41a_pub.pub16.329-Th(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 9

directing 9

effects 10

editing 9

writing 9


4.6 out of 5 🐙


I am a big D&D geek so when I saw this preview I was totally stoked.  I particularly loved the joke that unicorns were the equivalent of disgusting, vile rats in this fantasy world. But they only had that angle in the preview. They had the unicorns in the trailer, and they were still vermin, but they weren’t rooting through the trash.

I have some very personal connections to this film and I am not going to discuss them. As I said with my review of Coco, some things are too sacred to share with the world. Or at least I am not ready to share them now.

But that aside, the movie is literally an epic quest to bring back a father for two sons who barely knew him. It does drag for a bit in the first act but that slight hesitation aside, it soared and crashed through everything in a wonderful, fantastic way. The animation is very clearly Pixar style and I’d like to see the studio try out some new aesthetic styles but I can’t criticize the quality. It does everything you would want it to do and probably the best way possible.

Chris Pratt steals the movie as the earnest but bumbling older brother. WillChris Pratt every play a character that you cannot help but love? I hope not. It’s such a sweet story about regret and longing and it even adds a frosting of apt social commentary (a Pixar mainstay). I went to see it by myself as is my wont the last couple years. And I’m glad I did. I was able to sob freely without embarrassing a companion.

Oh, and as I’m an ally, I want to give props for the first openly gay character in a Pixar movie. Their sexuality isn’t critical to their character or to the plot but representation is very important to me and I applaud it. Thank you.

Feels level (0 being no tears, 10 being waterfall): 9.5 – ***SPOILER ALERT*** There are so many tender and wrenching moments in this film that elicit tears but the ending when Barley has shared a few moments with their briefly resurrected father with Ian almost split me in half. It was soul cleaving. It was the ultimate fantasy within a fantasy world. And it left me wondering if those few extra seconds were worth the same wound being torn open once again for these sweet brothers. It was.






(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

2 thoughts on “Onward (2020) (mini-review++)

Leave a Reply