As the release of Pixar's newest fantasy movie approaches, many parents are likely considering whether or not Onward is appropriate for young kids. So before you head to the movie theater this weekend with the entire family in tow, here's a little background information to help you decide.
In Onward, Pixar goes back to a tried-and-true formula of making a funny, sweet movie about family dynamics with a special twist. (You know, sort of like the movies that put the animation giant on the map like Toy Story and Finding Dory.) The premise of Onward, which is rated PG, is focused on two elf brothers named Ian and Barley Lightfoot, voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, respectively. The teen brothers live in a suburban, modern world much like our own, only with other magical creatures like elves, unicorns, and more. The creatures might be magical, but it appears there is no longer any actual magic.
After the boys receive a wizard's staff that had been left to them by their deceased father, the two "embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there" and see if they can find a spell to bring him back to life. Even just for one day.
According to parental guidance site Common Sense Media, Onward contains some "goofy/rude humor" in keeping with the idea that the two main characters are meant to be teenagers, but it's still a family fun adventure. While there is not a lot of violence in Onward, the brothers do travel around with their father's legs (although most of those scenes are meant to be comic relief). Perhaps the most difficult thing for kids to watch might be the theme of loss and bereavement. The movie's director Dan Scanlon lost his own father when he was very young, as he told The Guardian, and injected some of that curiosity and sadness into the script.
As Ian and Barly go off on their quest, they will definitely run into some adventure along the way, which should be pretty exciting for little kids. But the fact that they're brothers going on an adventure together could resonate with little boys who perhaps want their own version of Frozen, albeit minus the Oscar-winning musical numbers.
Overall, Onward looks like the sort of exciting movie that all kids will enjoy, perhaps especially little boys with brothers who might want to see a relationship they can emulate, even if they're elves. So, mark your calendar for Friday, March 6 when Onward hits theaters across the country.