Sony Pictures took an animated swing at Spidey this time around, focusing on Miles Morales, a young biracial (that’s freaking huge) kid from Brooklyn who gets bit by the spider blah blah blah. Except not blah! Some science things happen and Miles ends up face to face with Spider-men, uh Spider-people, uh Spider-beings from other dimensions. The Spideys teach Miles the ropes (with parallel universe middle age Peter Parker leading the way) while working together to get everyone home and save the universe from collapsing.
The first way it’s revolutionary, I mentioned already: REPRESENTATION!!! Miles is half black half Latino, and someone I’m sure lots of little kids out there will be thrilled to look up to. Again, that’s freaking huge. Add in the other Spideys, and we’ve got two girls, one of whom is Asian, and also a pig. Lots of people getting to see themselves on screen because there is room for everyone in the Spider-verse.
But the way it’s most revolutionary is the animation. Oh my GOD the animation was gorgeous. It really does look and feel like a comic book. The screening I was at included a Q&A with the producers (LORD AND MILLER!!!) and the three directors (three!!) and they mentioned that the animation was done at half the frame rate to give it a slower comic vibe. But the artistry was stunning, and it also enabled them to take the story places that you could never go live action. I know a lot of people are gonna wanna dismiss this movie because it’s animated (I know I had that temptation at first), but if that’s you, I hope I can convince you that the animation is exactly why you need to see it.
The story was so well written too. It was a great way to introduce the characters, and it had such smart and self aware wit in the screenplay. I laughed so hard and felt so hard for these characters. That’s another advantage to really good animation. If it’s gonna take one week to animate one second (a stat given at the QA, as opposed to most films which is one week for 4 seconds), you can be dang sure that none of that screentime is wasted.
Since I got to see this early, most of the comments on my Stardust reaction have been from friends saying that my excitement reaffirmed their hype for this movie. My response was always the same: the hype is so deserved!
Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/