In today’s Blog I’m going to cover my review of newest Pixar Animation Studios film “Onward”, wich was released on march 6 of this year.
When Pixar announced this movie along with other new projects coming for future years I was really excited obviously cause it’s a Pixar movie, and as a Pixar fan I was really looking forward for new stories and new characters. In 2019 we got the release of “Toy Story 4” wich gave us a little sneak peek of “Onward” on a tiny little easter egg of the movie. On one of the bouncy houses on the carnival during the movie there was a unicorn exactly the same as the one on Barley Lightfoot’s van “Guinevere”. like the one on this picture!.
And then the trailers started releasing along side posters and interviews of the cast, at first I thought the story looked promising and had a lot of emotion talking about a subject so strong such as a death of a loved one in a “kids” movie. And when I went to see it in theatres I had a lot of expectations. And right of the bat…Wow, I loved it, The animation, the textures, the character design, the overall story was amazing in my opinion. But there’s some points I wanted to talk about.
The start of the movie was very clear, explaining the world we were about to enter, showing this diverse, magical and fantasy world that then transformed into the modern and technological times we currently live in. I think the whole concept of these mythological creatures being lazy, and doing what we humans do today is really funny and it showed reality in a different way. A way that really makes you think about the world and how we are not seeing the wonder and MAGIC of our planet. Then there’s the characters, Ian Lightfoot is the quiet, insecure type of teenager and Barley Lightfoot is the complete opposite, he’s fearless and is a huge geek about all things magic. Putting these two brothers together on a “magical quest” sounds like an explosive combination to me ,but they have to go on this adventure to see their father Wilden lightfoot by using a spell he left them right before he died years ago that is able to bring him back for 24 hours. So I’m not going to spoil anything about the movie but that’s just the concept of the story And I have to tell you that the story is the star of the movie, you may think “well that’s obvious every movie has that”, but let me tell you that sometimes characters or other elements of the movie can really shine along side the story. But in my opinion with “Onward the story and the journey is what connects everything making it what it is. The storytelling on this movie is fantastic. I also loved the references in the movie, they changed the the style of some clssic Pixar brands such as “Pizza Planet” to “Pizza Realm”, and changing the letter style of “TripleDent Gum” and Naming “Mountain Dew” as “Mountain Doom”.
Every Pixar movie has a better animation than the last. Sure “Toy Story 4” had a Incredible animation, especially showing the textures and reflections of materials such and metal and porcelain, But in onward you can really see how Pixar has improved on clothing. Frabric is one of the most difficult things to animate and Pixar has come a long way, “Coco” had a lot more clothing, wich was an opportunity for Pixar to practice their skills on this area. A central character in a Pixar movie will have its clothing design start from scratch, with rough sketches and concepts showing the style of clothing the characters will have, This is especially important in “Onward” because of Barley and Ian’s dad, Wilden Lightfoot, during almost the entire movie he is just a pair of moving leg because the brothers were only able to conjure bottom half of him, so the design team at Pixar had to make him look appealing and at the same time make him look like an actual character for people to connect with him. Also in the movie Ian tries to make his top half by putting together a sweat shirt, a vest, a hat and a pair of glasses to make him look like a real person. So basically he is made entirely out of clothes. After having the concept they hand them over to the character tailoring designers so they can model the clothing virtually and then putting it over the 3D model of the character or “skin”.
So as you can see it’s a long process that Pixar has to go through in order to make the clothes look as real as possible, and that improvement can really be seen in “Onward” the fabric textures and how they were able to make a character made out of clothes appealing to an audience is truly amazing.
Overall the movie is really awesome and emotional, is visually stunning, especially the landscapes. the movie also has the typical “Buddy Film” formula but it still makes it a great story that families will enjoy, Showing that nobody is alone, that you gotta take risks in life to become a better version of who you are, and most importantly, That we have to be grateful for life, for what we have, and for the people we have, that is what makes us who we are.
Go see it if you can, the movie is already available to buy digitally through iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and Fandango. And if you have Disney+ it will be available in the streaming platform on April 3rd.