The latest Pixar animation chews through every quest cliche in the book while serving up a rich and thoroughly enjoyable feast.
Set in a fantasy world of elves and monsters, where electricity has replaced magic and suburban sprawl supplanted castles (displaced unicorns now prowl the streets and eating trash, racoon-like), it sees two brothers – one a brash and embarrassing dork, the other shy and awkward – discover their long-dead dad was secretly a wizard. When attempts to resurrect him don’t go to plan, they embark on an adventure to bring him back for a few precious hours.
It’s an undoubtedly nostalgic affair, playing into a very adult sense of a lost golden age and gleefully mining evergreen 80s pop culture. There are loving flashes of The Goonies, Dungeons and Dragons, Indiana Jones and hair metal. But its sensibilities are nonetheless very modern, giving its potentially stereotypical leads (voiced by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland) surprising emotional intelligence. Kids and adults alike will leave with damp cheeks and cheesy grins. Opens 2 April.