NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Creating new worlds and taking audiences along for the ride has become a specialty of Pixar. The title of "Onward" seems perfect for a forward-looking company. What was once a magical world has grown to resemble our own, though it's fair to say none of us have a dragon at home.
"Onward" is a movie about two teenage brothers, Ian and Barley, who are on a journey to discover if there is still a little magic out there to spend one last day with their father who died when they were very young.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the mom, Laurel Lightfoot, Ian Lightfoot is played by Tom Holland, and Barley Lightfoot is the perfect role for Chris Pratt.
Ian and Barley's father died before Ian was born. Together they come up with a plan to bring their father back to life, but that plan goes awry.
Crucial to completing their father's return is the gemstone, which is where Octavia Spencer's character comes in. Spencer plays Corey, the owner of a restaurant.
The quest allows for whimsy with the wow factor that has become a Pixar trademark, while giving us heart and humor in equal measure.
The laughs come courtesy of these would-be amateur wizards, but the pathos is all about a search for a father one brother barely knew, and the other never saw.
"Onward" lacks the transcendent grace of Pixar's best, and it's not quite as entertaining as "Monsters University," but I like the way it finds the funny in every situation and reminds us of the bonds we all have to our parents.
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Sandy Kenyon review: Pixar's new film 'Onward' reveals the magic in family