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Relaxed: Onward

Dan Scanlon

Imagine The Lord Of The Rings being given a makeover by the Pixar Animation Studios (who brought us Toy Story, Brave and Inside Out), and you have some clue as to what might be going on in Onward.

“it's not a quest, it's just a really fast and strange errand”

“In times of old, the world was full of wonder and magic... but times change”. Set in a fantastical world where the people once had access to magical powers, two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, receive a wizard's staff as a prearranged gift from their father, who died before Ian was born and when Barley was too young to remember him. The staff comes with a spell that will bring him back for only 24 hours, so his sons can meet him. Prompted by Barley, Ian uses the spell, only to end up with just his father's legs. Desperate to get the rest of him back, the brothers go on a mysterious quest to unlock the spell, all the while racing against the clock before the day runs out.

Pixar films have made their reputation on supersmart scripts that work across the age ranges, voiced by A-list talent – in this case, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and Octavia Spencer. Onward is a fusion of old school wizardry and modern family dynamics, along with fire-breathing dragons, strangely aggressive unicorns and a manticore (human head, lion's body, scorpion's tail). Who wouldn’t want to go on a quest featuring creatures such as those? Though as Ian Lightfoot is at pains to point out, “it's not a quest, it's just a really fast and strange errand”.