Anyone who knows me can tell you that cartoons are my life. Between my Lilo & Stitch shelf, my How to Train Your Dragon obsession, and “Cartoons I HAVE to Show EVERYONE!” list, cartoons have become a huge source of joy and excitement in my life.
So when I say this is an animation everyone should watch, know that I say that about almost every animation. But when I say this is the movie that everyone should watch over all other movies? Now that is a BIG deal.
What movie, you might ask?
Why, Into the Spider-Verse of course! This recommendation is for both people who think they would have no interest in the movie (yet) and people who have already watched the movie. Take it from me; I’ve watched it 11 times now. Each time, it’s better than the last!
First, the animation style is breath-taking. Utterly breath-stealing material. I don’t want to put in too many images because I would hate to spoil the movie. But look at this screencap!
This image shows how the movie is stylized like a movie comic book. The onomatopoeia is on the screen and the image imitates a 4-color print press, which was used to print comic books in the past. Often times, it wouldn’t line up perfectly so the blue and red would bleed out of the lines in the comic. I personally thought it was really cool and kept jumping in my seat excitedly whenever I did notice it!
The story is so engaging too! It’s funny, sentimental, and action-driven all at once. Miles Morales, the main character, is given the task of saving his home and the multi-verse. While getting webbed up in battles he can’t run from, we explore themes of family, of community, and of faith with him.
The part that really makes me care about this movie is that you can care for and understand every character. You really grow to root for Miles. His expressions always show how he feels so clearly. His family is an integral part of who he is. His excitement for what he loves, his need to connect, and self-doubt are all things that we can so easily see in ourselves. And through getting to know Miles, we come to cheer him on, want him to win, want him to believe in himself.
(If I’m feeling honest, I might just admit that I tear up when I watch this scene.)
The last thing that is hard to write about it the soundtrack. It has influence from Miles’ background. He is Afro-Latino who enjoys graffiti. The movie plays music that as Latin influences and old school hip-hop to match this character and his interests.
The album captures the movie so well, and songs are placed in parts of the movie that makes sense! The score is also well-done. The swelling of music and the calm descent in the closing scene really captures the feelings of each Spider-person. Fight scenes and chases have your heart pounding to the intense percussion! Below is a Spotify playlist with both the album and the scores if you’re curious!
No amount of words and screenshots can capture how amazing this movie is. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s available on Netflix. For $9.99, you could own it on VUDU with all the special features included! Even if you have already watched it, I promise the rewatch is worth it. The first time I watched it, I was only moderately impressed. But every time I’ve seen it since, the movie keeps astounding me in new ways!
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Why I Love This
- The animation is like a moving comic book. Artists came up new and innovative ways to animate certain parts of the movie.
- The story is easy to follow and the humor comes very naturally.
- It's very easy to fall in love with each character; a complex hero and villain!
- The soundtrack is amazing! It's very diverse. The score is also very emotionally compelling!
A Helpful Review, from NYTimes:
This may be the first Spider-Man feature to qualify as a great New York movie, drawn from the life of the city rather than outdated stereotypes.More info: Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man of his reality, crossing his path with five counterparts from another dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.
Find it here: YouTube