Brotherly love displayed on a different level in Disney and Pixar’s ‘Onward’


As two brothers grow closer while they embark on a quest to see their father, brotherly love gets set on a whole new level

It’s a film that will melt your heart, give you all the feels... and you will probably need the tissues.

Disney-Pixar’s newest motion picture Onward captured audiences from the moment it debuted on the big screen last month, and it has received rave reviews.

“This movie was adorable, fun, and heartwarming,” one reviewer wrote on Google. We get a happy ending of course, but not quite in the way you'd expect from Pixar.”

With a storyline that includes challenges and trials, there is no question that your emotions will be moved.

On Friday, The Walt Disney Company released the film early on its streaming platform Disney+ to allow more people to watch it as they continue to stay at home to help curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

The film is set in a world with mythical creatures featuring teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley who embark on a quest to see their late father. It highlights their magical and challenging adventure that leads them right back to where they started.


At the beginning, we meet Ian who is turning 16 years old. He is a shy elf who is afraid of practically everything. As he learns more about his father and the great elf that he wasIan reflects on the fact that he never had a chance to meet him before he passed away. With this knowledge, Ian becomes determined to be just like his father.

Ian’s older brother Barley is the exact opposite from him. We learn that Barley rarely afraid of life and will do anything for his younger brother. He loves to play his favorite wizard quest game that is based on real stories of the past and Guinevere, the van that he built himself. His confidence can sometimes be an embarrassment to bashful Ian.

Their mother gifted them with a magical staff from their father. Along with the staff, there was a note that had instructions to cast a visitation spell that would bring their father back to life for one day.

Ian discovers that he has the power to cast the spell, making him a wizard. But as Ian is casting the spell, he only reforms the lower half of their father’s body before the gem on the magical staff breaks into pieces.

With Barley’s knowledge from his wizard games, the two brothers take their father’s lower half with them on a journey to find another phoenix gem so that they could see their father. With excitement, Ian makes a list of all of the things that he wants to do with his father when he is revived.

Throughout their quest, they encounter a fire-breathing Manticore, a motorcycle gang of pixies, and the police chasing after them. Ian learns of more spells and begins to find confidence in himself including driving on the freeway which was one of his biggest fears. Meanwhile, their mother becomes worried and sets out on her own quest to find them.

As they avoid various traps and deadly creatures on their quest, the brothers find themselves outside of Ian’s high school, which is basically right where they started. This upsets Ian which causes him to lash out at Barley over a waste of time.

While Ian spends the last few minutes that he has with his father, he realizes that his list of things that he wanted to do with his father were actually fulfilled with his brother.

Barley’s determination allowed him to discover the phoenix gem, but before he could give it to Ian to cast the spell on their father, a curse was awakened forming itself into a dragon out of bricks from the nearby school. But their mother arrives with the Manticore to help defeat the dragon and Ian uses a spell to use the Manticore's sword to finally defeat the dragon.

Surrounded by a pile of rubble, and with no time, Ian was able to see his father revived from a distance with Barley. Before he knew it, his father was gone.


Although the ending may seem bittersweet at first, the character development portrayed through both brothers is what makes this film exceptional.

Ian is a lovable character from the beginning. He is an innocent elf who just wants to know more about his father. The thought of him being able to actually meet his father is beyond wholesome. When Ian realizes that Barley has been somewhat of a father figure to him, his love grows deeper for Barley.

Barley loves his family and his love specifically for his younger brother sets an amazing example to families around the world. He has an endless amount of determination that gets him far.

This movie teaches so much from the importance of relationships, to determination and to confidence in one’s self. Through the years, Pixar has been able to add these special elements to its motion pictures, allowing people to relate personally to the characters and to embark on their own journey of emotions.

“I know I personally identified with Ian, he was too shy for his own good, humble and nobody ever got to see who he truly was because of it,” said another reviewer Google. “Throughout the movie you can watch his journey to self discovery and even other characters along the way!”

If you haven’t seen this film yet, it's a must-see!