Director: Dan Scanlon
Year Released: 2020
Ian (voiced by Tom Holland), an elf who lives with his mother (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), older brother Barley (Chris Pratt) and step-father (Mel Rodriguez), is given a magical staff on his 16th birthday that has the ability to summon his late father for one calendar day, but he botches up the spell and has to go in search of a rare gem to make it work. As expected, it looks marvelous - those Pixar designers are at the top of their class - but the story is hollow: it's yet another insecure teenager learning to overcome his anxieties tale, and the screenwriters borrow from video game design (there's even a final boss with a glowing 'weak spot') and Harry Potter to move the plot forward (conveniently, the staff can summon just the right spell for the obstacles arbitrarily set up). Pixar's track record has been spotty since the excellent Inside Out (made five years ago) and with this they're just peddling in cheap sympathy.