Into The Spider-Verse Movie Review

Into The Spider-Verse Movie Review

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“Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into the one and only Spider-Man. When he meets Peter Parker, he soon realizes that there are many others who share his special, high-flying talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin, a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world.” – Lalive.com

On Monday Dec 10, 2018 I attended a preview screening of Into the Spider-Verse which was followed by a Q&A with producers  Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Christina Steinberg along with a few of the voice actors.

Characters

Miles Morales - Young Afro-Latin typical NYC kid. He was very relatable and I instantly connected with him

Miles Morales - Young Afro-Latin typical NYC kid. He was very relatable and I instantly connected with him

Rio Morales -Miles’ mom, reminds me of my mother who is Afro-Latina

Jefferson Davis - Miles’ dad, reminds me of my father who was African American

Peter Parker - A very standard and boring Spider-Man

Peter B Parker - Visually also standard vet very flawed older and interesting Spider-Man

Aaron Davis / Prowler - Miles’ uncle. I’m unfamiliar with the comics so this was a twist I couldn’t even see coming with how caught up in the film I was. I enjoyed his character a lot and was saddened by his death

Spider-Gwen - Visually a standard however I do like her and would like to see more of her

Kingpin - Typical bad guy that goes to the extreme fix a situation where is emotionally attached to the outcome

Spider-Ham - Basically a Porky Pig Spider-man. A Porky Pig like Spider-Man. I went back and forth trying to decide if I really liked this character take on Spider-Man He was wacky and was a good sources of comedic relief.. At times I felt that he was out of place however I still enjoyed him

Penni Parker - Stayed true to the anime nature

Spider-Noir - I was unfamiliar with this Spider-man yet I did enjoy his commentary and his interaction with the Rubik’s cube.

Sony Pictures Animation - © 2017 CTMG Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sony Pictures Animation - © 2017 CTMG Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Visual & Animation Style

I’m obsessed with the visual style of this movie. It is electrifying, vibrant and bold.  You hardly feel as if you are watching a 3D/ CG animated movie. We (for the most part) are used to 3D films that look like Toy Story, How to Train Your Dragon etc.

There was a lot of attention to the contract of light and dark and using that to foreshadow moments.

The animation style was very sharp, quick and snappy. There was a lot of physical humor similar to the slap stick kind often associated with Looney Tunes. The directors and animators did an excellent job of bringing forth the essence of each character. The Black characters were distinguishable and represented as Black beings and not a white character with brown skin. There was a lot of winding and crossover animation that I could have imagined being a task to keep up with in the sense of making sure every frame is “alive”. There was a lot of attention to detail and nuances.

Storytelling

This is probably one of my top 10 coming of age stories. Compared to my last movie review on Small Foot, Into The Spider-Verse does it right when taking a general story that we all have seen/ read before and telling it in an electrifying way that you don’t even think about the fact that you know how this is going to go because you are caught up in the hero’s journey. I really enjoyed the pacing of the film. Miles and Peter B felt EXTREMELY relatable. Though the family theme was heavy it never felt like a burden or overdone. The movie was humorous and witty.

Q&A Takeaways

Producer Phil acknowledged that they team used animation in a way to tell a story that felt as if you are walking through the insider of a comic book that came to life. The producers only agreed to work on this project as long as it was about Miles Morales and that they were allowed to look crazy. When they first got the green light to begin making this film Phil and Chris called on production designer’s Justin Thompson. They said they wanted to do a movie that has 6 animation styles and they all were going to be in the same frame at the same time. They wanted to make it feel like an artist is communicating with you at every point of the film.

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Chris admitted that no one knew now to actually achieve the desired style. It took about a year and a half of trial and error to get the final result. They ended up adding 2D animation elements over 3D animation. For every single frame the line work was added by hand, this includes all of the blurs an wooshes etc. The animation was a hard and complicated process. Usually most studios complete 4 seconds of animation in a week. For Spider-Verse they were only able to complete 1 second in a week. The studio had about 180 animators at one point so that they could get the film finished on time.

Christina shared that Stan Lee loved his cameo. He loved everything about the script and he loved the character designs. They recorded for an hour and a half in his office. This movie meant a lot to Stan Lee because it was an example that anyone can wear the mask.

Chris on the various iterations of Spider-Man:

“We were trying to create a character set that represented a lot of different points of view of the same story.”

Phil chimed in:

“we spent a lot of time trying to figure out who would be the most different from each other? Who would be fun to have different animation styles with? Which character’s world would you want to explore and how would they look standing next to each other?”

 Final Thoughts

I’ve seen this movie 2x already and will be seeing it again before 2018 ends. This film is breaking grounds not only as a coming of age story, not only for pushing the boundaries as but we also get to see an aging Spider-Man.

Phil said that they started the movie with a mission statement, that they wanted to make a movie that left kids and people feeling more empowered than when they came in. It is without a doubt that they, everyone that played a part in this movie being made greatly succeeded.

 Here’s the trailer

If you’d like to read more about the production of Into The Spider-Verse, check out the article written by Charles Solomon “How the ‘Spider-Verse’ Animators Created That Trippy Look”

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Animation Highlight: Kung Fu Cooking Girls

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays