ONWARDS – Initial Thoughts and Pixar Downloads

by ryankl

I gotta tell you, I dig Pixar on most every level.
I just recently watched ONWARD – which I *loved* – and so I stumbled across a site linking to the dowload opportunities for most of the Pixar stable of flicks – there are some ommissions, and there’s no ONWARD yet, but these are all shared online, usually for awards season, and are for *educational purposes only* so I think there would be some people here who would dig on them.
May the link provide you with joy, insight, laughter, and tears – oh so many Pixar fuelled tears.
Oh, and here’s a mild ONWARD review I posted to my newsletter:
ONWARD – mild spoilers after the first two paragraphs
Hooboy, this flick was 100% for me. I’m not even in a place to analyse it from a storytelling/craft perspective, I loved it too much to be able to do that. I went into this thing ready to love it, ready to cry, and ready to enjoy myself.
I did all 3 things, but I didn’t realise just how much these things would happen. The flick is basically “What if people in the D&D world discovered electricity and realised it’s hella simpler than magic so they stopped being mystical and just morphed into lazy modern society, but with weird creatures?” and that set up is so simple and genius. I genuinely believe if we had magic on Earth, and it was difficult, then people wouldn’t commit to it in great numbers.
So right from the intro, I was in. But then we get the lead character/s – this is Barley’s flick as much as it is Ian’s – and they sell me on the throughline of someone missing their father who died when they were young, and I was more of a mess than the opening of UP [and not comparing/stating a quality difference, just saying my personal emotional buy in was 100%].
From there we get laughs, we get some awesome world moments, and we get the usual Pixar callbacks I’ve come to expect. I was so happy to live in this world and explore it with them, but in the end it’s the brotherly relationship that completely reeled me in. They nail the dichotomy of the two, the ways they relate, the ways they don’t. The fact neither starts as a seemingly aspirational character, and both need to grow enough to love each other and then transition to loving themselves is nice. Although, with thought, Barley seems to love himself and his brother pretty unconditionally frmo the start, he’s very inspirational in that regard.
I won’t dive into deep spoilers, but I will say if you dig Pixar flicks, D&D, and/or emotionally resonant storytelling – ONWARD is most definitely going to be up your alley. I want to story clock this thing really badly – which means I’ll make any excuse to rewatch it again very soon.