Nimona is based on a graphic novel of the same name by ND Stevenson. The book was originally published as a webtoon by Stevenson in 2012, before being collected as a single graphic novel by Harpercollins in 2015. That same year, the graphic novel was optioned for film by Fox. Unfortunately, though, the film’s adaptation would take a long time to come to fruition – and following the Disney-Fox merger, the movie’s release looked rather grim. The movie was well into production, but Disney ended up shuttering the movie. Shapeshifter Films would later team up with Annapurna Pictures, though, after finishing production on the film to find a new home for the film with Netflix.
Nimona tells the story of Ballister Boldheart, voiced by Riz Ahmed, and the titular character, Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz). Growing up as a outsider in a futuristic medieval world, Ballister is framed for the murder of Queen Valerin. Deemed a murderer, Ballister spends his days in the shadows, eager to clear his name but failing to do so… until he meets the mysterious, mischievous teen, Nimona. The duo couldn’t be more different from one another – with Nimona constantly threatening to kill and Ballister eager to do anything but kill someone. But she seems to be the only person capable of helping him, so together, the duo form an unlikely friendship that’ll force them to reevaluate everything they thought they knew.
Fans that have been eagerly awaiting the release of the Nimona film will find the wait well worth it. The road to the screen might’ve been bumpy, but the final product successfully captures the feel and tone of the comic and features a hell of a cast. Joining Ahmed and Moretz in the film are Eugene Lee Yang (The Try Guys), Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under), Beck Bennett (The Mitchells vs. the Machines), RuPaul and Indya Moore (Pose). Each actor is perfectly cast in their roles, with Yang and Conroy, specifically, both delivering noteworthy performances.
It’s hard to really find an issue with Nimona. The film is full of action, charm and humor. It’s delightful from start to finish, filled with excellent voice performances and a wonderful message. If one were to find any fault with Nimona, it would be the art style as it is very similar to Stevenson’s animated She-Ra series, which drew criticism from fans for its art style. But even if you’re not a fan of the style, the film is well-crafted and full of love.
Nimona is everything audiences can want in an animated movie. There’s humor, there’s plenty of action, there’s heart and there’s a story everyone can relate to. It’s ultimately about finding your place in the world and finding your people. That’s something we can all truly understand.
(Side Note: There is a pretty great use of Metric‘s “Gold Gun Girls” in the movie.)