Moving Onward with Onward

The Stammering Dunce
3 min readMar 20, 2020

Also published on Wordpress.

*Spoiler alert for Onward……AND Finding Dory (Yes, really).*

Sadly, I am disappointed with it.

The premise itself is interesting: a teenager dealing with his own insecurity (I have a soft spot for such story) longing for a deceased loved one he has no memories of. It is obvious the problem lies on its execution.

It may has something to do with Manticore, a character that is crucial to the plot and yet treated as a comic relief. There is also something about the film that prevents me from emotionally immersing myself in it; I cannot blame its action-oriented and fast-paced narrative because many films, including other Pixar ones, can still be emotional despite being action-oriented and fast-paced. It feels like I am not given enough time to fully relate to the character.

The film is so forgettable, I forgot that I just watched a new Pixar film literally minutes after leaving the theatre.

But, Onward is still way better than Finding Dory.

As disappointed as it is, I have to commend Onward for having a main character who actually moves onward with his life. Both Ian and Barley are excited to meet their temporarily-revived deceased father. But, amid the (self-inflicted) commotion during the climax, only one of them can meet him for a short while. Ian decided that Barley is more deserving of the one last meeting.

Why? Because, unlike Ian, Barley has actual memories of their father and Barley felt guilty for not giving a proper goodbye to when he was on his deathbed. Ian felt the experience would be more meaningful to his older brother.

Ian also realises his obsession about meeting their deceased father drove him into snubbing the wonderful time he has had with his brother. The list scratching scene near the climax is my favourite in the film.

Moving onward, indeed. The complete opposite of Finding fucking Dory.

If this story is simply about reliving her memories of her parents, then I would be just find. But, somehow, the story has to be about finding them alive! It would be better if they are dead!

Okay, I know I sound heartless. But, hear me out first (or read me out, I guess).

Obviously, there is nothing inherently wrong about wanting to find one’s parents. But, I hate how the film insists that Dory has to find them or else, the absence of family means she would never be emotionally fulfilled, forgetting that Marlin and Nemo are her fucking family; the film’s predecessor clearly shows how Marlin’s mere presence makes Dory feels at home!

Despite my disappointment, Onward‘s emotional maturity shows it is still a Pixar flick. Finding Dory feels more Disney-ish. Yes, I know Disney bought Pixar. But, you get the gist.

I actually don’t have a good reason to bring up Finding Dory. I just hate the film and I am using this opportunity to kick its groin.






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