By Derek Delson
Animation is a medium often assumed to be just for kids. Most childhoods are full of animation from legendary studios like Disney and Pixar. Oftentimes studios make animated movies just for kids, including instances of immature humor, a lot of falling, and of course, a dance number at the end. However, the best animated movies entertain the often-ignored audience: the parents. Dragged to most of these movies are unhappy adults waiting for the insufferable jokes and pain to end. But ever so often, there’s an animated movie that appeals to both adults and kids that provides an entertaining, enlightening movie experience for all. This year, that movie is Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
In development for years, the highly anticipated animated Spider-Man movie is finally here. After six Spider-Man movies, tons of animated shows, and decades of comic books, how can producers make the character and idea of Spider-Man fresh? By making a beautiful animated movie with a Spider-Man no one has seen before on the big screen — Miles Morales.
The lead in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is fourteen-year-old Afro-Latino teenager Miles Morales, a smart kid troubled by his parents’ expectations. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Miles learns that he’s not the only Spider-Man. From alternate dimensions, different Spider-Men and Spider-Women exist, including a 1930s noir Spider-Man, a Japanese-American Spider-Woman from the future who fights with a robot, and a Spider-Man pig (yes, you heard me right). All of the different Spider-People must team up to defeat a force destroying all of their separate realities.
With such a intriguing premise, the creators behind Spider-Verse could have stopped and created a good animated movie, but they went the extra mile by crafting excellent characters, stunning animation, and extremely powerful themes.
This is, ultimately, Miles Morales’ story, and the creators of the film do not lose touch of that. While his story is similar to Peter Parker, the Spider-Man we know, it differs in all the right ways. By exploring his African and Hispanic roots, the film creates a Spider-Man in whom more people can see themselves. The obstacles in his life are ones that everyone can relate to, specifically teenagers and parents. Morales’ journey from being an average teenager to having to save the world is treated realistically and with care.
Assembling a large crew of top animators to create a comic book styled animated movie was a big task, but no aspect of the animation falls short. It is absolutely stunning from its first image to its last. Sony Animation even created new animation techniques for the film. Animation-wise, it’s groundbreaking and different from anything I’ve ever seen before.
Picking up a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, the film is now a front-runner for Best Animated Feature at various awards ceremonies, including the prestigious Oscars. Fun for the whole family with valuable lessons, beautiful animation, and genius humor, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a must see.