In a world of wizardry, unicorns, and magic wands, a couple of kids (elves, actually) use a spell to bring back their deceased dad – well, halfway. The fact that their dad only makes it back from the waist down sends the boys on a Quest. They only have 24 hours to pull off the magic that would allow them to meet their long-gone father in the whole.
This animated fantasy – titled “Onward” – is a tour de force of CGI magic. You can conjure it up for yourself this week at AMC Classic Towne Crossing 8, 925 W. Andrew Johnson Highway.
Tom Holland (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”) and Chris Pratt (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) voice the two kids. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Downhill,” TV’s “Seinfeld”) takes on the role of their mom. Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures,” “The Help”) is a manticore restaurant owner who offers help on their Quest.
Kyle Bornheimer (TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) is the dearly departed dad.
Tracey Ullman (TV’s “Tracey Breaks the News”) makes a vocal appearance as a pawn shop owner. And John Ratzenberger (TV’s “Cheers”) is here as a construction worker … he shows up in every Pixar outing.
There are plenty of cops and car chases to accompany the boys’ Quest. Lena Waithe voices a cyclops cop, Ali Wong is a faun cop, George Psarras is yet another cop.
Directed by Dan Scanlon, this Disney-Pixar co-production was inspired by true events (well, not the elves and wizardry part). Here, Scanlon is recalling his own father’s death when he and his brother were younger. He decided to write the story after hearing an audio clip of his father.
Ah, if life (and death) were as simple as a wave of the wand and a nostalgic “Alakazam!”