Ultimately, that is certainly the greatest gift of Onward: its unbelievable ability to distract one from realizing how conventional it is deep down. And Pixar pulls it all off so well that they are actually bound to make many viewers genuinely and fairly believe in far more than that, as some will conclude the story of Ian and Barley is one of the best they have ever produced. It is part deception, part heart, part creativity, and part experience. And with these tools in hand, the company digs itself out of the artistic dead-end that Onward seemed to be in concept. Deliberately or not, it was a position in which Pixar put itself when they opted to assemble their own twist on the trope-ridden road movie genre. And from that tight starting point, it is hard to argue they could have done it any better. Whether it was a self-imposed test or a twist of fate, they passed it with flying colors.