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In preparation for this month’s Toike, I found it difficult to think of a film to review that was even tangentially related to onions. For hours, I scoured the internet for films with more than a passing mention of onions. And then, it hit me. It was so simple. A beloved movie from my childhood that is almost synonymous with onions: ‘Holes’ (available for streaming now on Disney+). 

Now I know what you’re thinking. “How in the world did you find ‘Holes’ in the Disney+ movie library?” Well, it was a long and difficult process. Even after filtering the selection to only show Disney movies, I had to scroll through a nearly endless library until I happened on the onion-centric classic starring the indescribable Shia LaBeouf. What struck me most about the film, which I hadn’t seen in over a decade, was how crisp the visuals were. It was as if I was streaming a 4K version of the film on my television, which was shocking since my TV was made before 4K was even invented. 

Beyond the spectacular quality of the Disney+ stream, and I haven’t even talked about the brilliant sound-mixing that makes every other streaming service and DVD player seem like they’re alternating between a mouse speaking so quietly you can barely hear anything and deafening noises that make any dialogue effectively unintelligible, was the plot.  

In short, ‘Holes’ is the story of Stanley Yelnats (cue eye roll), who is falsely accused of stealing a pair of shoes from a charity and is sent to a juvenile corrections camp in a desert, which used to be a lush lake like less than 100 years ago, to dig holes for the wicked Warden Walker. When Stanley runs away from the camp with his friend Zero, they are able to survive on decades old, probably fermented jars of peaches (yay, underage drinking) and onions somehow growing on a desert mountaintop near a stream (it doesn’t rain so where’s the water coming from?) long enough to uncover long-lost loot and see the Warden punished for her vile behaviour.

Now, I’ve never eaten an onion raw before but the stunning detail and vibrant colours of this Disney+ property made me go out and try one. I bit into that sucker like I would bite into an apple and…I had to spit it out. As far as I’m concerned, ‘Holes’ presents a classic story of the truly astounding measures humans are willing to take to survive in a way no films, not even ‘127 Hours,’ has captured since. To eat raw onions not only to put off starvation but to also become inedibly smelly to poisonous lizards in the desert is something only the most determined, the most resolved, the most fundamentally human could do.  

So that’s my take on ‘Holes’. If you’d like to revisit this classic story, you too can stream it in brilliant HD on Disney+ for just $8.99 per month or $89.99 per year. 



*This article was in no way, shape or form sponsored or paid for by the Walt Disney Company. One of our writers just REALLY likes Disney+.