A boastful elf and his prank-happy orc brother must learn to work together to stop a fiendish orc gang from retrieving a magical stone that will give them the power to take over the world.
Back in the first week of March, Disney and Pixar released their newest animated adventure in the form of Onward, a tale of two elvish brothers that embark on a journey together in hopes to find a spell that will be able to bring back their father, whom they never met, for one last day.
Although it did not emotionally affect me nearly as much as the studio’s previous efforts, or as much as I had hoped it would, it was still an incredibly fun, comical, and deeply moving story, even if it didn’t make me cry.
However, the movie ended up being a commercial disaster and was unable to make back its budget. Raking in $104.1 million on a budget of $175-200 million, the movie’s flop is not the fault of Disney or Pixar. It’s nobody’s fault. It just came out at an unfortunate time, as, within a matter of weeks, the coronavirus got worse and worse each day, and ultimately caused nearly all movie theatres to close down temporarily.
So, many people around the world are eager to watch some new movies in the comfort of their own home. Recently, a number of new release movies have been released straight from the theatre to video on demand or streaming, such as The Hunt, Emma, The Invisible Man, and Trolls World Tour, and yes, even the aforementioned Onward, which is streaming right now on Disney+.
But let’s say that none of those movies tickle your fancy. Or, let’s say that you have already seen Onward and don’t really feel like watching it again. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Homeward, directed by Michael Johnson – a hilariously bad and blatantly obvious ripoff mockbuster of the newest Disney/Pixar film.
It would be incredibly easy to sit here all day and just make fun of this movie for a while, and although it would definitely be extremely easy to do that, I’ll just focus on the biggest reasons as to why this movie shouldn’t exist and why it fails at being a good movie.
First of all, the animation is ridiculously jarring. It isn’t necessarily awful, but it certainly isn’t good either. But, the main issue with the animation here is that the two lead characters here are modeled to look almost identical to the two lead protagonists of Onward.
Not only that, but the main characters of Homeward have incredibly similar names to the heroes of the aforementioned Disney/Pixar movie. In Onward, we follow the adventures of Ian and Barley Lightfoot. In Homeward, we follow the adventures of Lloyd and Barl Lightspinner.
Are they different? Sure. But you have to admit that the names are heavily similar and it is positively another ripoff of Onward. In addition to that, Lloyd and Barl are disappointingly bland and uninteresting to follow. With Ian and Barley, it was easy to root for them and you genuinely wanted them to succeed on their mission. But with Lloyd and Barl, we are never really given a good reason to care for their plight.
They are trying to stop an orc gang from retrieving a magical stone that will give them the power to take over the whole world. It’s a story that we have seen done countless times in the past, and better mind you. As a result, the characters involved really don’t get a lot to do and feel so one-note and underdeveloped.
At the end of the day, that is the best way to describe this movie besides the obvious, a ripoff. It’s painfully dull and underdeveloped. It does nothing to set itself apart from Onward, and instead plays out as an immensely bad ripoff mockbuster. Was it trying to be so bad that it’s good? Maybe. It does sort of feel like that at times. But, then again, something tells me that this was trying to actually be a good movie. Either way, it isn’t. If you want a fun family adventure for all ages, just stick to Onward.
Homeward is a hilariously bad and painfully obvious ripoff of Onward. It takes everything the Disney/Pixar film did right and makes it truly awful.
Overall Grade: F
MPAA Rating: TV-G
Directed by: Michael Johnson
Distributed by: The Asylum
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Running Time: 81 minutes