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Pixar’s The Incredibles 2 now has a run for its money when it comes to best animated movie of 2018.

Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians) and Rodney Rothman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse stars Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Mahershala Ali, Luna Lauren Velez, Lily Tomlin, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Live Schreiber and Chris Pine.

What a mouthful of an amazing cast.

Miles Morales has just become the Spider-Man of his own dimension, and when a particle accelerator messes with the space-time continuum, other Spider-people and things start showing up in Morales’ world. With the help of the Spider-gang, Miles needs to learn to become his own Spider-Man and save every reality from being destroyed.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s ambitious plot, especially because it’s a family film, could have tainted the good name of Stan Lee’s favorite superhero. Luckily, it is better than just an average superhero movie; better than a decent Spider-Man movie. Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best movies of the year and the best animated movie of the year.

There’s a difficulty about talking about this film because it’s a film that needs to be experienced. The animators and writers of Into the Spider-Verse blend a variety of animations and humor that’s heartfelt and riveting for both adults and kids.

Don’t get me wrong, Pixar’s animation is a creation of pure beauty, but Sony Animations has let a team of creators realize a comic book on the big screen. Talk about faithful to superhero adaptations, Into the Spider-Verse is the most comic book-y movie there has ever been. The opening scene with Morales getting ready for school recalls every time I jumped from panel to panel in those flimsy and imaginative pages.

Miles Morales is not just another Peter Parker with an Afro-Latino twist. Although, I definitely had a huge, stupid grin on my face when he walked around talking to his friends in English and Spanish. His character in Into the Spider-Verse reminds the audience of just how different an individual can be in a world full of similar skins.

Speaking of which, the whole cast of Spider-people floored me. They’re all relatable and easy to connect to while still being unique.

Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker, Hailee Steinfeld as Spider-Gwen/Spider-Woman, Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir, John Mulaney as Spider-Man and Kimiko Glenn as Peni Parker all have the powers of the Spider-Man we all know and love, but they each stand out; Writers Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman give everyone their time to shine.

Into the Spider-Verse feels like a mini-Avengers with bizarre versions of the web-slinging hero.

It’s clear Lord and Rothman have respect for Morales as a character, but they also know that he stands for much more than that. I admire the writers most when they blend adult themes like death and love with hilariously sweet child-like innocence. The mix is terrifyingly smooth, and I love it.

The humor is definitely one of the highlights of Into the Spider-Verse. How can you not have pig puns with a talking Spider-pig? How can you not have tasteful jokes about colored Rubik’s cube tiles with a Spider-Man in a solely black and white world?

There’s plenty of thinking outside the box that the story board artists and the writers developed, which is level one evidence of how much blood, sweat and tears were put into Into the Spider-Verse.

If my high praise of this movie still doesn’t convince you that Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best films of the year, then I only have two words for you: Stan Lee.

Lee’s last couple cameos that he filmed prior to his death are Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. I wasn’t expecting a cameo in this animated Spider-Man movie, but he pulled it out and it’s the best cameo he has ever filmed. Take away the fact that this is the next film that he was a part of after he died, what Lee says is poignant and beautiful. Treasure the man’s legacy and be a part of the characters’ lives that he helped make.

Hint for a better experience: this is a Marvel movie so of course there is an end credits scene, and it’s one of the best, if not the best, end credits scene in a Marvel movie ever. It’s hysterically meta if you’re a fan of memes.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has something for everyone. Whether it’s the crazy animation styles of comic books, the sidesplitting engagement between characters, the beautiful dynamic that grows inside Morales’ personal and Spider-family, you will be entertained.

Excelsior!


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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

9.8

Hits
  • Comic book animation style
  • Funnier than Spider-Man slipping on a banana
  • True Believers, it's Stan Lee!
  • Being yourself is a message that adults and children can relate to
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