The last animated film I fell in love with was Zootopia from a couple years ago, but there’s no doubt that Into the Spider-Verse has indefinitely exceeded it. The animation is utterly breathtaking and alive, capturing all the inter-dimensionality of the storyline and the true vivacity of New York City. The movie is also written exceptionally well with an engaging and relatable main character, Miles Morales, a Afro-Latino thirteen-year-old growing up in Brooklyn. Overall, the movie is a powerful addition to the Spiderman canon with a positive lead character who is a person of color– and, more than anything, all this in combination with its stunning animation and art style make it one of the best animated movies I’ve ever seen.
Into the Spider-Verse follows the story of Miles Morales, a nerdy, artistic teanager in boarding school in New York City. His African-American father is a cop, his mother Puerto-Rican, though Miles is closest to his Uncle Aaron. On a night when Miles and his uncle are spray-painting a tunnel in the Subways, Miles gets bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him the powers of Spiderman. After witnessing the death of Peter Parker, Miles realizes that there are many other spider-people just like him who have similar powers– and they must all team up to close a dangerous breach in the fabric of their spacetime dimensions.
The character for Miles Morales was created in 2011 by writer Brian Michael Bendis and comic artist Sara Pichelli, drawing inspiration from President Barack Obama. What I loved about this movie (and what a lot of people seem to want from Spiderman) is how it added a new personality and perspective to Spiderman. Miles seems like a very authentic and relatable kid going through the ups and downs of growing up, which is all exacerbated by his newfound spider powers. His ascent to heroism is believable and admirable, as he struggles and fights to fit into the burden and responsibility of being a superhero. Miles isn’t a flashy, flaunting superhero– he is genuine, down-to-earth, and, even when he’s out saving the world, the audience knows that the guy behind the mask is just a kid from Brooklyn who loves art and is still finding his place. He seems to be one of the most human superheros in the universe, and I love that. The characters and relationships in this movie are written exceptionally well– it hits a sweet spot between funny, touching, and inspirational. I loved laughing at the jokes as much as I loved watching the conflict escalate.
The best part about the movie, however, the part that still keeps me coming back to it, is the visual spectacle. The movie is bursting with color, liveliness, and utterly perfect animation. The style is quite realistic with a comic twist, almost as if the pages of a comic book had just come to life, dancing with color and movement. The accompanying soundtrack features artists like Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Post Malone, and it is fresh, original, and fits the movie so well– just like what Miles Morales would listen to. The movie is an absolute feast for the eyes and ears.
If you get the chance, I highly recommend this movie. At the very least, it’s highly entertaining– at the most, you will have come out of the theater with a thrilling visual experience and met the best spiderman yet.