⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: A wonderfully vibrant world and poignant tale make for an instant classic. Add in beautiful animation, an excellent cast, and some good gags, and I had a ball!




Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

The best Pixar film I've seen in ages. It's a shame Pixar didn't actually make it, though. After all, they've been trying so hard to get an LGBTQIA+ analogy to work, and yet here comes a much smaller (albeit incredibly talented) team that nails it, and throws in a wonderfully inventive science-fantasy world, stunning visuals, and some genuinely funny beats to top it all off.

I have basically nothing bad to say about Nimona. The story does incredibly well at setting up obvious cliches and immediately knocking them down – the white knight/black knight rivalry is swapped for a romance; the corrupt bureaucracy is just one person's paranoia and a bunch of other people no longer thinking about their jobs; even the nepotistic dude-bro comes around at the end, showing that privilege is not equated with bigotry, even if it does encourage it – whilst allowing for a lot of nuanced takes around the edges to feel seen, but not belittled. A classic example of that is class: classism is rife and a central part of the initial plotline, and yet at no point does any character attempt to "solve" it. Class is seen as an inherent and potentially non-ideal part of the system, but no one is attempting to erase it or remove it. It exists, it has value, and it has both positives and negatives, and that is all.

And there's no real villain here. Lots of misunderstanding and a good dose of paranoia, but no one individual is truly to blame. People are to blame, for thinking small, giving in to fear, forgetting compassion, and generally othering that which they do not understand. And I suppose the head of the Institute is at least a little villainous, though really she's mostly just paranoid to the extreme (though I do like that fear/paranoia are the only traits shown to be truly corrupting, and those that are hardest to overcome). Wrapped up in all of this are strong themes of community, of friendship, or acceptance, and of the bitter bite of loneliness. Heck, Nimona, in her final, enraged, "monstrous" state, doesn't even try to destroy those that have so mistreated her, but instead contemplates suicide. In a kids' film. And it's freakin' gloriously done.

Sure, a few beats are well-telegraphed or overtly explained, but this is only done when absolutely necessary. The film does not go out of its way to beat you over the head with its message, or its cleverness – there are no flying cars with CH4R 1OT number plates or anything dumb like that – it just makes sure that a kid would understand the core motifs and leaves everything else up to your own attention. As a result, I imagine there are a thousand little details I missed, but that's even better; it rewards repeat watching.

Plus, the visual style and music are beautiful; the characters are great (and perfectly voiced/acted); and the humour is on point, too, giving more than a few chuckles and several loud guffaws throughout. I loved it, had my emotions played with, and came out the other side with meaningful, hopeful thoughts. I guess I should pick up the source material, if the derivation is this good!

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