15 Best Animated TV Shows And Movies Of 2023 Ranked

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Written By Sedoso Feb

“Nimona” had an arduous journey to the big screen. Canceled by Disney when 10 months away from completion, the movie was picked up by Netflix and saved from being a development hell footnote.

The film adapts ND Stevenson’s graphic novel of the same name, set in a world that mixes medieval fantasy and modern technology. Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a shapeshifter with the default appearance of a young girl — she mostly transforms into animals colored the same shade of red as her hair. She invites herself to be the sidekick of outlaw knight Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed), who was framed for killing the queen. “Nimona” is about friendship and this unlikely pair is the cornerstone of that.

Co-directed by Blue Sky alums Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, “Nimona” roughly follows Stevenson’s character designs but, rather than his two-dimensional cartoony style, renders them in 3D cel-shaded CGI animation. The animation stuns the most during breakneck chase sequences when Nimona shifts back and forth from animal to different animal.

The archetypal fantasy story is about a hero slaying a dragon, but “Nimona” suggests that such myths are just another construct of control. The message of accepting those deemed outsiders by the powerful is an important one; the subtext here is so apparent to be just text. For one, Stevenson is trans and his breakout hit, “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,” has plenty of queer characters/themes. In the film itself, Nimona is androgynous and her ability to shapeshift has trans-coding, a welcome addition to this year’s animated offerings.(Devin Meenan)

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