Onward is Disney/Pixar’s latest effort and, while it may lack some of the same sense of freshness or originality as their previous films, it does deliver what audiences want in spades.

Chris Pratt and Tom Holland are the voices of two elves who live in a fantasy suburban world. They come across a magical staff left to them by their late father that will allow them to see him again one last time.

However, the two brothers can’t just perform the spell at home. Instead, they have to travel to a faraway place for it to work. They do manage to get the spell working halfway when the father’s lower half appears, and then they have to improvise the top half as a disguise.

The disguise plays out in some funny scenes, such as when the brothers are in a restaurant and when they get pulled over by a cop.

As I said, Onward doesn’t quite belong in the top tier of Pixar’s best efforts, but it follows the formula to make the story work. The voice-over by Pratt and Holland is simply, well, magical. They display a chemistry that is full of humor and heart, and the visuals are terrific,┬áincluding the aforementioned sight gags with their father).

Onward also delivers a wonderful message about the importance of holding close to what matters most…family.

Grade: A-

(Rated PG for action/peril and some mild thematic elements.)

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