Make Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Your Christmas Eve Movie Since It’s Leaving Netflix on Christmas Day
One of the quintessential Spider-Man films
I started 2018 with Black Panther and ended it with Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. Phew, what a time to be on Team Representation Matters! I spent a LOT of time in 2018 writing about Black Panther for various outlets, but I never got the chance to fully explore my feelings about Miles Morales freefalling to What’s Up Danger.
Now seems like the perfect time, especially since the movie’s being taken off of Netflix on Christmas with no word on whether or not it’ll be put on a different streaming service. So yeah, if you haven’t seen Spiderverse now’s a damn good time to check it out. If you have seen it, well, give it another watch because it’s one of the best Spidey films out there.
Actually, you know what? I think it’s my favorite Spidey film period. I think I’ve come to accept that most of my favorite depictions of superheroes are animated (insert gif of me praising Batman the Animated Series here).
That’s not to say I don’t like the live-action universes, but this story is so fun and full of so much heart that there’s a real timeless quality to it.
The basic premise of Spiderverse is that Miles Morales, after being bitten by that rascally radioactive spider, is attempting to adjust to his new abilities while dealing with the perils of adolescence like attending a boarding school he doesn’t vibe with and living up to his father’s expectations. Unfortunately for Miles, he doesn’t have a Peter Parker to turn to as a mentor, since his version of the webhead has been killed. That’s right. I said his version. Because thanks to Kingpin messing around with parallel universes Miles meets another dimension’s version of Peter.
Sweet, a mentor!
Except this Peter has seen some shit and would rather live his life the way I did for most of 2020: holed up at home with my favorite foods and interacting with as few people as possible.
But heroes gotta hero so it’s time for an adventure!
The part where I gush so you watch this movie on Christmas Eve
The animation? Stunning.
The music? On point.
The comedic timing? Masterful.
I just really love this movie! In a world full of gritty hero setpieces this precious story had a kid use a bagel as a projectile. The balance of fun and serious does it for me, especially since the serious is so relatable.
Spiderverse gives us two depictions of Spider-Man: the young newcomer who’s just getting started and the one everyone expects to be the perfect mentor because he’s done it all before. Peter B., however, is a mess. More importantly, he’s allowed to BE a mess and admit that he’s exhausted.
At the same time, even if Miles is destined for greatness, most of the time he’s encouraged to be a kid. I am living for adults telling children that it’s ok to be children, ESPECIALLY Black children. Yes, power, responsibility, that whole thing, but we need stories that tell kids to take their time and move forward when they are ready.
This movie is the perfect representation of why adults still love these adolescent stories.
You’ll notice that a lot of protagonists in animation are kids or teenagers. These characters usually go on a phenomenal adventure that, on the surface, is about saving the world, but deep down is about them growing up and realizing who they are as a person. Miles is trying to do what’s best for everyone, but in order to do that, he has to discover who he is and do what’s best for himself FIRST AND FOREMOST. Miles is encouraged to take a leap of faith WHEN HE IS READY.
Even if the world is at stake he’s encouraged to take his time and not rush his growth. I fully believe that had he stayed at home the other veteran Spider-people would’ve handled it, but since he was ready, he joined them, and they let him because they could tell he was ready.
Become the best version of yourself then go out into the world.
This isn’t just an important lesson for kids, but for adults, too, which is why Peter B. gets the exact same lesson.
Adults are often treated as the teachers, the ones who are there to pass the torch because they’ve been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, and have pizza crumbs on it. But a lot of adults out here in this clusterfuck we call society will tell you that you never stop growing and will be learning, constantly, for the rest of your life. That’s not to say that we don’t have stories where adults learn something new, but there’s this overwhelming sense of you should know better by now and, furthermore, to keep pushing even if you’re exhausted.
Peter B. Parker has been beaten down so much y’all. Familial figures dead. Marriage over. Two decades of fighting. He’s not just dealing with loss, he’s dealing with, well, depression, but there’s no one there to tell him that until he meets Miles who, ironically, turns around and uses the advice Peter gives him to help Peter better himself.
This is exactly what we need this year, next year, and for many years to come.
This is why Spiderverse is my favorite Spidey film.
Well … that and the Christmas album.
Ha! It’s a Christmas movie after all!
(Image: Sony Pictures Animation)
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