“Onward” (Disney)

Laurel Lightfoot, voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ian Lightfoot, voiced by Tom Holland, and Barley Lightfoot, voiced by Chris Pratt, appear in the animated movie "Onward." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Disney)

By Catholic News Service

Using a spell, two teenage elven brothers (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) bring their father back from the dead for 24 hours. But the magic goes awry so that he is only resuscitated from the waist down. To acquire the mystical gem that can restore him fully, they embark on a hazardous quest, trailed by their fiercely protective mom (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus), her centaur boyfriend (voice of Mel Rodriguez) who’s a police officer, and a lion-like creature (voice of Octavia Spencer) who has the ability to defeat the dragon that, unbeknownst to the boys, guards the jewel they seek.

Though it reaches a heartwarming conclusion, director and co-writer Dan Scanlon’s animated adventure is loaded down with an overly detailed mythos, values focused primarily on self-empowerment and a passing allusion to a same-sex relationship that, though brief, amounts to propaganda aimed at youthful viewers.

Occult themes, considerable peril, a reference to homosexuality, one mild scatological joke. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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