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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

Animation Nation: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'

This past week was one of my roughest weeks yet. Yes, I got to see a part of history and storm the field while Notre Dame beat Clemson, but waiting for me was three paintings and one drawing with fast-approaching deadlines. The Sunday Scaries were hitting hard and more late nights were coming.

Naturally, I decided to binge-watch some movies to have on in the background, which turned out to be a good and bad idea. I put on “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman. What I expected to be a night full of movie background noise and project progress ended up being completely consumed by the film.

So what makes another “Spider-Man” film so special, especially if it's created by Sony Animation? (The same team that created the dreaded “The Emoji Movie?”) Simply, it's because this film was made with love, loads of patience and pushed animation to new heights — spurring a whole wave of studios to push their own limits, as well.

This article will mostly be an appreciation of what this film did for animation, but first, let’s get to the story. Bitten by a radioactive spider, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales develops powers that transform him into Spider-Man. When he meets Peter Parker, he soon realizes that there are many others who share his powers from other universes. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin, who is using a weapon to travel across the multiverse for his own needs.

The film’s main theme is taking responsibility, even when we feel we are not qualified to do so. Yes, this theme is used countless times with Peter Parker, but Miles also has to deal with living up to the expectations of Peter himself, someone who is idolized all around New York. Along with figuring out who he is as a person, Miles deals with self-doubt throughout the whole film, but by accepting help and bonding with Spider-Men who went through his pain, as well, he is able to truly become his own Spider-Man.

With that quick synopsis, let’s get to the best part of this whole film: the animation. First off, did you know that it took around 800 people over the course of four years to create this film? Any given second of the film sometimes took around a week to animate. How was Sony able to create such a unique look? Collage. The animators were blending hand-drawn animation over CGI, creating the look of a hand-drawn, comic book world but giving the characters a 3D effect in the process. The use of comic book-language panelization, action lines and dot shading help make the whole film and each universe within it feel unique. The directors stated that they want the movie to be so beautiful visually that at any time you pause the movie, it will look like a page out of a comic book. Every time you watch it, you always find a new detail you didn’t notice before.

I can go on and on, but this article would basically take up a whole page — you just have to simply watch this film for yourself to truly appreciate what it has to offer. Not only is it the best “Spider-Man” and comic book movie of all time, I consider it one of the best films of all time.

Yes. I really mean that.

Sony Animation took a universal character and role model for kids like Spider-Man and created a new story for him that is actually a breath of fresh air, all while pushing animation to new heights. I can watch this film over 100 times and never get tired of it. I’m probably going to watch it again after I finish writing this. 

Title: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld

Streaming: Amazon Prime

Shamrocks: 5 out of 5

You can contact Gabriel Zarazua at