A fugitive knight on a quest for redemption. A rebellious teen sidekick who totally slays. They're here to wreak havoc and this kingdom ain't ready.
Spoiler Level: No spoilers.
Nimona is a Netflix animated original movie, based on an amazing graphic novel by ND Stevens. It follows a framed Knight who is trying to clear his name and a shape changing being who wants to follow him as a villain. This is an incredibly beautiful story, as is the graphic novel. The premise behind it is a little basic, sure. We’ve all seen stories like this. But the characters in this are what make all the difference.
Each character is unique and special, and really drive the whole plot. We rarely get to see LGBTQIA themes in mainstream animation, and this one has it. The two main knights in the story are madly in love, and while the plot drives a wedge between them, we can see the struggle they have dealing with being on opposing ends. The writing of these two characters alone is worth showing this to young people who are looking for animation showing themselves or people like them. The original creator and the writer of this film deserve all the praise possible, as if I had a movie like this when I was younger, I would have accepted myself sooner. It’s wonderful to see characters so fantastical, but so real.
Nimona is another great character who deals with real world issues. Sure, she’s a bit of the comic relief, making funny jokes and being as destructive as possible. And we love her for that. But pretty quickly in the film we learn that she’s not just some wannabe villain, but she’s a character with hurt and pain, in a world that shuns her. This is also extremely relatable to a lot of people, especially LGBTQIA kids. Living in a world that fears them or wants them gone. Nimona having to shape shift into something that makes others comfortable is a big allegory for young trans and queer people having to hide who they are to fit others level of comfort. As someone who does this often in the real world, I connected with Nimona on that level. Now I’m not as destructive, but I understand it.
Every character in this has an understandable motivation. I won’t go too far into it, as I don’t want to spoil anything for those that haven’t seen it, but in the end, even the bad guy has a tiny sense of understandable motivation. And that’s what truly makes an amazing story.
The voice acting has some of the best in films too. Chloë Grace Moretz as Nimona is perfect casting. When I was first reading the graphic novel the voice in my head for the character almost got perfectly to the voice Chole gave her. Riz Ahmed is also great as Ballister, and his voice plays really well with Nimona, bouncing off each other and giving some really good chemistry. We also have talented people like; Beck Bennett, Rue Paul and Eugene Lee Yang (from Try Guys). This cast has a lot to offer and is really star studded. I didn’t even know Eugene from Try Guys did voice acting, but they are perfect for the role of Ambrosius Goldenloin, the main love interest and opposing character to Ballister.
Now the animation and style is also impeccable. While different from the graphic novel design, it’s stylized in its own way, with nothing similar to it out in recent years. The animation is on level with Pixar and DreamWorks, in my opinion. It’s smooth and pleasing to watch. It has bright colors when needed, and amazing designs for the world around it. From cars to buildings, it’s truly stunning, and enough to keep your kids focused, while you enjoy it too. This movie has everything going for it. The music and sounds are also clear and full of emotion. We get some beautiful music for a flashback scene later in the film, that starts out hopeful and takes a darker turn.
Nimona is a perfect movie for anyone to enjoy, but it's special to see an animation like this with huge LGBTQIA themes and characters. I highly recommend it to all parents of queer people of any age. This is truly something special.
Nimona can be seen on Netflix.
Nimona: Let’s Break Some Stuff
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 10/1010/10
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