Disney released its newest film on Disney + on Friday; an animated film called “Onward.” Its release to the digital streaming platform has come far earlier than expected because of the COVID-19 pandemic cover film theaters worldwide.
According to CNN, “Onward” premiered in theaters on March 6, and was available for purchase on a digital streaming platform only two weeks later. This weekend’s release opened the film to a wider audience.
Set in a world where magic exists, but is only forgotten for the sake of technology, the film tells the story of two brothers, Barley and Ian, who search to revive their father who died for one day. On Ian’s 16th birthday, the boys’ mother gave them a present from their father; magical staff and spells that will bring him back.
After a history buff and a magical fanatical quest game Barley tried a spell and failed, Ian’s brother tried and realized that he had the magical power to do the spell. But in the middle of the road, he lost control and formed from his father is only a pair of legs. With the crystals that became the spell’s fuel missing, Barley stated that there was only one thing to do, continuing the search to find another crystal.
In this quest, the boys face a myriad of magical entities that have ever existed and seemingly insurmountable obstacles to overcome – all while dragging the legs of their half-reincarnated fathers around with dog leash. As you can imagine, this leads to some funny and moving scenes.
The film is like the male version of “Frozen.” A deceased parent, a child with magical powers, a soul searching for a journey away from home. It focuses on love between two brothers and their special relationship rather than having romantic direction just like Frozen focuses on love between sisters Elsa and Anna.
However, “Going forward” even took the concept even further by asking the mother – and stepfather – to stand faithfully by the children. It teaches valuable lessons to children who might watch films about the importance of family, and that sometimes your family supports you in ways that you didn’t realize at first.
Children will experience loss in their lives, and it is good to introduce them to these concepts in secondary forms such as film. The film does a good job of handling this topic in a positive and wise way by making father dead before the film begins. They capture the sadness felt by his sons without having tragic scenes, potentially injuring or triggering where he died.
The secondary theme in this film is aimed more at the adults who attend. This film seems to be a gentle allusion from the technological era in which we live. The opening scene shows a character running inside to flip the light controller controlling a newly found light bulb instead of staying outside to practice magic. The narrative illustrates how the world found a “simpler” way to survive because magic is not easy to master.
Throughout the film, magical characters are faced with ignoring their magical power or purpose. This critical view of our world is beautifully interwoven into an adventure story that gives children and adults something to keep them interested.
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