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Disney Pixar’s Onward: A Brotherly Bond

We attended as a guest of Disney

I think I’m a pretty good mother, I must say. But taking my teen daughters to the press event for Disney Pixar’s Onward certainly ensured my place in the Mom Hall of Fame.

Onward Press Junket

Yes, my 19-year-old has a poster of Tom Holland on her dorm room wall at college while my 17-year-old loves Guardians of the Galaxy, so taking them to hear Onward voice stars Chris Pratt and Tom Holland (both of Avengers fame) was a complete dream come true.

Scene from Pixar Onward

What I didn’t expect was how much this animated film would resonate with all three of us, and especially my daughters, as close sisters. Onward is entertaining to be sure. It’s a great story about two brothers off on a journey to spend a day with their dad, who passed away when they were young, but it’s also a story about that special sibling bond. It’s a bond like no other. As an only child myself, I marvel at the relationship my daughters have that is unlike even the closest friendship. It was so lovely to see it portrayed onscreen in Onward.

Pratt and Holland both spoke of that connection and how their own sibling relationships shaped their characters. “I’m the oldest brother of four, and Chris is the youngest brother of two,” Holland explained, noting that the opposite is true in the film with Pratt playing older brother Barley and Holland playing younger brother Ian. It helped them both approach their characters with sibling experience, so integral to the heart of the film.

Brothers in Pixar Onward

Explained Pratt, “Barley was never jealous. To me, that was very similar to my own relationship with my older brother. My brother always wanted to be an actor. He did plays…I followed in his footsteps.” His brother later joined the army while Prat became the actor. In the film, his character Barley, is similarly supportive. “He loves his brother so much that’s he’s just so proud of him that he has this gift. It really made me appreciate how my brother was with me because my whole life and career, he’s only ever been super encouraging about what I’ve been able to do as an actor.” Pratt said that’s what makes this movie’s brotherhood and relationship so special.

“(Onward) celebrates the love between two brothers. That’s oftentimes not something you see in movies. The brothers love each other.”

My daughters, always supporting each other in life, enjoyed seeing such a positive relationship portrayed on the big screen. For those with young children, it’s a great model for them to see brothers on a journey together with a common goal and displaying a shared love through their words and actions.

Onward Movie

Beyond familial bonds, Onward is a story about a magical and heartfelt journey. Holland summarized that theme for the younger generation with some sage words. Said Holland, “The only way to go onward is to look forward, and you can’t do that if you’re looking at your phone.”

Don’t miss bringing your family to see the magical Disney and Pixar film Onward in theaters on March 6th. Learn more about the film online, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Share your thoughts about the film with your friends on social media using the hashtag #PixarOnward.

Karen Bremer is a North Orange County native. She’s a mom, freelance writer, and owner of Her company Bee Creative specializes in products for scrapbooking, card making, and paper crafting online and in person at consumer shows in major cities around the country. She is married with daughters in high school and college and enjoys Disney, the beach, and any type of live theater..
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