Onward

2020, Disney

Featuring some of the best voice-acting I've heard in a while, thanks mostly to Chris Pratt, Onward wears its heart on its sleeve—deliberately, of course, but also to a somewhat contrived excess. Considered groundbreaking for dealing with the topic of death, it actually falls in line behind other "family" films that have already dealt with it, some much more directly (How to Train Your Dragon, for starters, wherein our hero's father dies on screen). I've also got a small bone to pick regarding "inclusiveness" in an animated film with no humans. Ethnic elves? It was just too in-your-face for my taste. But don't mistake me for someone who objects to inclusiveness per se—just perhaps find a less awkward way of dealing with it. Anyhow, it's got a heartwarming story and some clever set pieces—well worth the 102 minutes. Sad to see it was a victim of the pandemic, and only made $100 million at the box office on a $200 million budget; hopefully DVD sales made up for some of that shortfall.

     

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