Now in: Nimona review

  • Post Author
    by Talk
  • Post Date
    Sun Jul 23 2023
Photo Credit

By Ray Kirsch

With colorful graphics and a fast-paced plot, “Nimona” sped into Netflix and became loved by many. 

In a one-sentence review, “Nimona” became one of my favorite movies I've seen all year. Let's deep-dive into why. 

“Nimona” is an animated adventure movie following the storyline of a knight trying to prove his innocence in a murder case while meeting a shape-shifter along the way. The knight Ballister Blackheart's journey of proving he didn't kill the queen becomes entwined with the shape-shifting teen Nimona's storyline of being accepted by the kingdom.

Originally a graphic novel by ND Stevenson, “Nimona” tackles societal issues and identity. The movie was supposed to be made by Disney+, was canceled and was eventually picked up again by Netflix. 

My favorite part of the movie was the amazing animation style. Each frame was unique and added to the story well. For a movie occurring in a mix of medieval and futuristic setting, the art incorporated both aspects well. 

Not only did the animation keep me continuously engaged (which is hard to accomplish!), but the format in general was digestible and kid-friendly. With a PG rating, the show covers what could be considered adult topics in a friendly manner. 

It normalized gay couples by having Blackheart and fellow knight Ambrosius Goldenloin dating while not making it the central point to their storylines. This is not as common in the media as you would expect! 

Additionally, “Nimona” tackled conversations about being “othered” with care. Othering is when someone is treated differently from oneself. This is seen often in the plotline, especially with Nimona. Nimona, who is a shape-shifter, often is told to “be herself” or to “go back to being a girl” — to which she simply says, “But I'm not a girl! I'm Nimona.” 

We see Blackheart learn how to approach conversations about Nimona's identity throughout the movie, progressing from a “what are you?” to a “so can a shark dance?”, showing his mere curiosity without judgment. 

Blackheart himself is also othered at the start of the movie, as he is not a “traditional” knight because he is seen as a commoner (or, “lower class”). The Queen, who he is eventually framed for killing, wants The Institute to allow anyone to become a knight, not just those from noble bloodlines. However, the real killer (who I won't spoil!) disagrees and frames Blackheart, further setting him apart from the other knights. 

Many from the queer and transgender community have taken Nimona in as their genderfluid icon, vocalizing that Nimona's gender is never actually specified and how Nimona often emphasizes her lack of gender. 

A conversation we especially love from the movie is when Blackheart asks Nimona, “wouldn't it be easier if you look human?”, to which Nimona responds, “easier for who?”

Because of this representation and how the movie addresses societal issues, I personally adore this movie. I've never felt so seen — so represented — in a movie until I watched “Nimona.”

While I haven't read the comic book yet, it is next on my reading list. As it typically happens with many book-adapted-shows, many scenes were left out of the film that are only in the comic. My friend that has the book told me it goes more in depth to Blackheart and Goldenloin's relationship and is more detailed than the movie. 

I thoroughly enjoyed “Nimona” and will be watching it again. 

Overall rating: 5/5 (I have watched it three times already)