Review of Netflix's Nimona
On June 30, Nimona finally released on Netflix, three years after the expected release date in 2020. It’s an animated movie directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, based on the graphic novel of the same name created by ND Stevenson, who was the creator and showrunner of the She-Ra remake.
Nimona is a high-energy, quirky yet heart-warming story of two outcasts finding each other and changing the world together.
Nimona had a rocky production period. In 2015 it was picked up by 20th Century Fox Animation, to be produced by Blue Skies Studios with a predicted release date of 2020. However, due to the acquisition by Disney in 2019, there were several delays to the release and ultimately the production was cancelled as a result of Blue Skies Studios’ closure in 2021.
Both fans and the production team were disappointed by the news. However, in 2022 it was announced that Annapurna Animations had picked up the project and it would be released on Netflix in 2023, directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane.
The titular character Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a lively shapeshifter, bursting with personality and one-liners with an enjoyment for destruction and chaos. Nimona teams up with disgraced knight Ballister BoldHeart (Riz Ahmed) in order to clear his name and cause some mayhem along the way.
It’s set in a medieval-style yet futuristic fantasy world populated with knights, hi-tech swords, tall towers and holographic screens, which act as a visually stunning back-drop to the explosive action sequences and wacky hijinks the characters get up to.
Nimona utilises a blend of 2D and 3D animation to create a unique and colourful world for audiences to become absorbed in.
The style is perfect for the fun, infectious energy of the story and its characters, particularly the bright pink of Nimona’s design distinguishing them from the rest of the world who views them as a monster. The use of darker colours such as black and red, often used to portray villains, for Ballister and Nimona (our two central characters), subverts expectations of the villains and the heroes.
The highlight of Nimona is the gradual development of the relationship between the formerly straight-laced, rule-abiding Ballister and the chaotic ball of energy that is Nimona, who represents everything he was taught to fear. The growth from exasperation to genuine care for Ballister, and Nimona slowly allowing themselves to be vulnerable around him, is a joy to witness.
Nimona is a film that needed to be made. Its central message of acceptance, inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters and themes and a heart-warming discussion and portrayal of gender representation through Nimona’s character will likely resonate with a lot of viewers.
Overall, Nimona is a bold, adventurous and moving tale of two outcasts, learning to embrace their differences in their own chaotic way.
It was definitely worth the wait.
Nimona is available to watch now on Netflix.
Featured Image Credit: Netflix