“So no matter how many hits I take, I always find a way to come back. Because the only thing standing between this city and oblivion is me. There’s only one Spider-Man. And you’re looking at him.”Peter Parker
Taking Deadpool’s self-awareness and applying it to a family-friendly Spider-Man movie has produced not just the best animated film of 2018, but the most joyous Spider-man film to date (some have suggested it is the best, but I think Spider-man 2 retains its crown). This is beautiful big-budget animation, more minimalist than the meticulous detail of a Pixar movie but with a more stylised artistic vision too. The only slight distraction is the blurred edging used to create depth of field, which can feel distractingly like a misplaced stereoscopic image from film’s 3D release. The Lego Movie‘s Phil Lord and Chris Miller have their fingerprints all over, though they did not direct. The inspired dimensional merging draws in alternate Spider-man variants from other universes, including divergent art styles that couldn’t work in any other medium. That the resulting story structure, which features half a dozen origin stories in broad strokes, is not only coherent but deftly interwoven with wit and a strong through line is an impressive achievement. The plot is light, but even Kingpin as the antagonist has a clearly established reason behind his single-minded, destructive dimensional manipulation. Above all, Spider-man adaptations work best when earnest and emotional, both of which Into the Spider-verse delivers in spades and neither of which loses any potency in the transition to animation.