“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:” With Great Power Comes Great Inclusivity

As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” This is an idea that the recent animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” did not take lightly. With its subtle - though undeniable - themes of inclusivity, humanity and stunning animation, this movie was nothing short of ‘Amazing.’

While I was admittedly wary of seeing this movie out of fear that it might be a cheesy animated rendition that would ruin the Spider-Man I grew up loving, the opposite happened. This movie kept me constantly engaged, to the point that it felt like I was a kid being captivated by my favorite, sarcastic, dorky superhero all over again.

What made it even better was my understanding of the value that the messages portrayed in this movie had. This film was unexpectedly diverse and representative. The ideas of inclusivity were subtle, but tangible for a young audience and certainly exciting for me to see.

This film takes the heroes from various renditions and installments of the Spider-Man comics and brings their worlds together for the duration of the film. This is where the high degree of inclusivity comes in.

Starting with the original Peter Parker, who we all know, is the ideal superhero fans iconize. His opposite comes into the film later, introduced as Peter B. Parker, from a dimension where life has not been so friendly. We are then introduced to Miles Morales. Miles is an Afro-Latino teenager from Brooklyn. His identity is complemented by a film score rich with music by rap artists like Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Lil Wayne, and many more. Other Spider-Man figures include Peter Porker voiced by John Mulaney and Spider-Man Noir voiced by Nick Cage.

The film also generates an uncommon amount of strong female representation. Spider-Woman, also known as Spider-Gwen is a ballerina drummer who lost her best friend, Peter Parker. In remorse, she takes on the role of making sure to save everyone else. Peni Parker, who fights evil in her robotic suit of Spidey-armor, is a Japanese teenager who lost her father. Even Aunt May is represented as a hardcore, witty, strong female figure as opposed to her usual frail and helpless characterization.

Needless to say, this film is well deserving of its Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and its 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. I personally can’t stop talking about it. The animation is stunning, the messages are compelling, the villains are not plain or cut-and-dry, the characterization is brilliant, the dialogue is genuine and the messages of inclusivity are beyond necessary.

So, if you are looking for something to do during these terrible winter months, swing into your local movie theatre and go see your friendly neighborhood Spider-Men, Spider-Women, and Spider-Pigs in action.

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