"It is unbelievably beautiful. It is a work of art, it's computer-generated animation. I would so much rather look at an hour and a half, two hours of this kind of thing than going to a New York gallery and look at a splotch on all wall that brings in a million and a half bucks." —Andrew Klavan, on "Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse" (Ep. 633 of "The Andrew Klavan Show")
When I found out about this movie, I was pretty curious, but also excited. I was curious about the Spider-Man story that this movie would tell. And I was excited because it was an animated movie that, from what I was told, wasn't geared only at kids.
Now I should probably mention that I like movies, but I don't really follow or hear about them as much as I'd like to. Besides the ones that are super popular or anticipated, I'll mainly hear about them from my boyfriend, family, or co-workers. So before this movie got popular, I only really heard about it from other people. And they were all excited, too.
My little brother was the most excited. My parents took him and my little sister to see "Into the Spiderverse" twice before I actually saw it. (And he claims he saw it a third time in a dream, but the jury's still out on that one.) He absolutely loved it. He and my sister wanted to go on and on about it, but I said, "no! No spoilers!"
The week after "Into the Spiderverse" came out, my co-workers talked about it so much too. And so did my friends on Facebook, my boyfriend, and random people I'd overhear in public. Cartoon Spider-Man was everywhere and I didn't know what was going on.
Finally, I saw the movie.
And as I was watching it, I kept thinking about art.
My family and a lot of my friends know that before I decided to be a writer, I was declared as a graphic design major. But what some of them don't know is that even before my brief minute in graphic design, I wanted to be an animator. Basically, I wanted to tell stories and it just took a couple years for me to realize the best way for me personally to tell stories is to actually write them (seems obvious, but I was hung up on the whole money thing for a bit. But anyways, that's a story for another time).
So I'm watching "Into the Spiderverse" and I can't stop thinking about how artistic this animation style is and the hype surrounding this movie from all ages and it hit me. This is what animation should be. Animation should be an expression of art and storytelling that anyone can enjoy.
Because animation is an expression of art and storytelling that anyone can enjoy.
For some reason, we or Hollywood or some part of society has pegged animation into two categories—kids' stories and adult humor. We get Disney and DreamWorks and Illumination movies geared toward kids that are actually really good but get written off by general audiences because they're "supposed to be" for children. And then we get shows like "South Park" or movies like "Sausage Party" that have to actively tell parents, "hey, please don't show this to your kids." Why is there no in between?
Why isn't animation viewed as a valid way to tell any story for any audience?
As we saw in "Into the Spiderverse," animation is a valid and GREAT way to tell a story. I loved the story and I loved the way in which it was told. I loved the freedom the animation style gave the characters and the new life and personalities they were able to have because of it.
I sat in the theater on a Tuesday night enjoying this movie and thinking about the art of animation and realized now, screenwriters can write with this kind of animation in mind. I can write a script with this animation in mind. It can be a script for an all-ages audience that tells a great and universal story with interesting characters and imagery that goes beyond the realm of typical possibilities.
And I'm excited.