Nimona is a must-see film with imaginative visuals and a talented cast. It is an highly entertaining adventure with a lot of humour and action. But it is also an heartfelt and touching story that sends a powerful message of acceptance using LGBT themes.
Nimona is based on the webcomic of the same name by ND Stevenson. It took this film a long time to be released. First developed at Blue Sky Studios, it was then canceled by Disney when they closed the animated studio, even though it was nearly finished. However, last year Annapurna Pictures picked up the film and finished it with the help of DNEG animation. Nimona will finally release June 30 on Netflix.
Nimona is set in a futuristic medieval world. It’s the story of a knight Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed) accused of a crime he didn’t commit, to prove his innocence he has to team up with Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz), a mischievous teen who is also a shapshifter. An unlikely team is formed bringing havoc on their path as the entire kingdom is after them. So, it is an highly entertaining adventure for all ages. It has a lot of humour and fun action.
At its heart, it is a story about the fear of the other, the one that is different. And with that fear comes the need for the other to try to fit in. This is what happens for the two main characters. But rather than trying to fit in, they need to be seen for who they really are and not through the labels they have been given by others. To be seen for your true self is what anyone wants. For that, you just need to get to know people and form your own opinion about them, not dictated by what others say about them.
Through this journey, Ballister and Nimona’s friendship help them go through their own struggles.This film explores the relationship of these characters and the relationships they have with others, what it means for them. In fact, this is a touching and heartfelt story too. Nimona sends a powerful message of acceptance and tolerance that everyone needs to hear.
It uses LGBT themes to convey this message. Nimona’s struggle is basically an allegory for the everlasting struggle of the LGBT community. In addition, this film actually features a gay character, one of its two leads – Ballister. More importantly, it is not one of those films where it is a blink or miss moment for the audience to know the character is gay. It is actually showed on screen. Indeed, Ballister’s romantic relationship with Ambrosius Goldenloin (Eugene Lee Yang) plays an important part in the story. We see how their relationship is affected by what is going on. Both have to try to reconcile what they mean for each other with what they see is happening. Ballister’s relationship with Ambrosius is as important to the story as his friendship with Nimona.
It is not often that you see an American film exploring LGBT themes and featuring a lead gay character. So I hope this film will inspire other studios to step up and do the same. Having animated films doing this is especially relevant because these are films for the whole family. Thus it can touch everyone and help starting some conversations.
Moreover, this film uses 2D stylization into 3D animation which creates wonderful visuals. On top of that, it combines elements of scifi like flying cars, speeders, the aesthetic of the city and elements of fantasy and medieval times like knights and castles. This is an unexpected mix. These are two very different genres and yet they work so well together. Nimona has its own unique visual style. It is refreshing to see something this imaginative. Undoubtedly, this is a visual feast for the eyes. The character designs are also beautiful and really expressive. I could definitely feel the anime inspiration on this side.
Furthermore, Christophe Beck has composed an energetic score for the action and fun scenes. While he really plays on the emotional chord for the more serious elements of the story. I absolutely love the track with the background vocal that beautifully complements the melody. It hits hard with the feels. In the middle of that, the film also uses rock songs which fit with the chaotic energy of Nimona.
Finally, this film has gathered a talented cast to voice these characters. Undoubtedly, Chloë Grace Moretz had a blast voicing Nimona. She put so much heart in bringing to life this character. Riz Ahmed delivers an heartfelt performance as Ballister Boldheart. And Eugene Lee Yang is actually a good surprise as Ambrosius Goldenloin.
Nimona is a must-see film with imaginative visuals and a talented cast. It is an highly entertaining adventure with a lot of humour and action. But it is also an heartfelt and touching story that sends a powerful message of acceptance using LGBT themes. It is about the fear of the other and the need to be seen for who you really are. It releases June 30 and this feels like the perfect way to end Pride month, a wonderful celebration of Pride. This film deserved to be released and I am glad it finally is. Honestly, it is the best American animated film I have watched in years. Nimona surely has the prospect of being nominated for best animated feature at the Oscars and it truly deserves to win.
Nimona releases June 30 on Netflix.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert