THE wonder of the world can sometimes feel like a remote concept.

Work, routine and life’s pressures can easily take the ‘magic’ out of the everyday if we let it. That is what Disney Pixar – the creators of Toy Story – show with a clever yet simple twist in Onward. The heart-warming animated adventure focuses on Ian and Barley Lightfoot, two brothers who are nothing out of the ordinary…apart from the fact they are elves. In their world, fantasy creatures are part of normal life but over time the magic at the centre of their existence has been forgotten in favour of mod cons like electricity. So Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) live in a version of suburbia much like ours with their mum Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) until they discover a gift left by their father who died when they were too young to remember him.

A spell offering the once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend a precious single day with him goes terribly wrong with dramatic and hilarious consequences and this launches a quest and road trip to see if there is any more magic out there before it is too late.

Voice actors Holland and Pratt make an outstanding double act as Ian and Barley respectively.

Spider-Man actor Holland perfectly expresses the awkwardness and vulnerability of a young teen and the ever-likeable Pratt almost steals the show as a dorky and overprotective big brother.

They both bear the weight of losing a parent so young and this is portrayed in a moving and sensitive way. You will get that pang of recognition if you have lost someone close to you and imagine what you might say if they were there in front of you for just another moment.

Falling foul of the law and at risk of unleashing a deadly curse, hot on Ian and Barley’s heels are their mum Laurel, former quest master/family restaurant boss Corey (Octavia Spencer) and stepdad/police chief Colt (Mel Rodriguez).

Spencer is particularly strong and funny in her supporting role as the fiery, energetic manticore Corey who is kind-hearted but not to be messed with.

Like all of Disney Pixar’s movies, Onward – directed by Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) is beautifully animated and is full of warmth, emotion and humour.

It reminds us to treasure not only the moments and memories that gives life its wondrous quality but also those around us.

Because we never know when the ‘magic’ will run out.

RATING: 8/10