Long ago, even before a trailer had been released I read an article that told of the new animation techniques that were being employed (the combination of 2D and 3D) by the animation studio handling Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse. Instantly my interest was piqued and when the first trailer arrived I know this movie was going to be something special visually, even if the movie wasn’t great.
I have not liked any of the Spider-man films to date, none have been great in my opinion, even the ones by Raimi that are generally loved. I read a few Spider-man comics growing up and I loved the character and thought him and Batman had the best group of villains, but I thought the movies never made really great use of the kinetic energy of the character. His swinging around the city and the action scenes were just sort of average and boring. Way below the abilities that Spider-man should have.
Right from the initial trailer for Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse it showed that this would be the film to fully embrace and nail that kinetic energy and the humour and fun of this character.
For many different reasons, as much as I was looking forward to seeing this movie, I only saw it last week. I thought it was amazing! The action was fast and full of energy. The characters were all great, especially Miles and the Peters and Gwen. The jokes all landed, some I even laughed out loud. The many different villains and characters didn’t crowd or muddle the story. Everything was perfect! The best part of this movie was definitely the animation. It was mind blowing. The way the animation team drew overtop of every frame of 3D characters animation and added expressive lines. Or the way dot patterns were used to evoke the look of the old comic book printing technique of combining red yellow and blue dot patterns overtop of solid colour to create a full palette of colours. The way that those separate colours and dots were shifted so they didn’t line up properly, like a misprinted page of an old comic book, and how this misprinted look was used to create blur to object in the background or things in the foreground that the directors didn’t want the eye to focus on. Also the way different dots, the crazy Ditkoesque art techniques were used during the scenes with the Particle Collider. It was all beautiful.
Below is a video by Wired that shows just how the animation team created this movie and its groundbreaking new look and all the different techniques they used.
Last summer also saw the release of another great Spider-man property, a PS4 game. Although I don’t really play video games anymore I would love to try this one. Much like Spider-verse this game nails the movement and abilities of Spider-man. In this trailer, which is mostly gameplay, created for E3 a few years ago, it shows Spider-man swinging around the city preforming acrobatic flips as well as his fast fighting skills in combined with a myriad of web shooter abilities. Halfway though the trailer you really get to see his abilities put to use as he runs up a giant collapsing construction crane while using his webs to stop it from falling into the crowded street below. Its all very grand heroic stuff!