Into the Spiderverse: How an Unexpected Success Exceeded Expectations

When I heard that there was going to be an animated movie bringing together the Spidermen from different universes, I admitted scoffed at the idea. I didn’t know how on earth they would be able to pull off such a ludicrous idea. However, when I saw positive reviews from friends both on and offline, I decided to go with my sister to see if it was actually any good. I waited until the last few days it was in theaters, because I hate crowds, and I purposefully looked away from any reviews so that I could see the movie with a fresh pair of eyes. So, when I finally went to see the movie, I was shocked: this film was even better than I had expected it to be. It is now my favorite movie (right behind Megamind, which I may talk about later) and I find myself appreciating it more and more every time I see the film.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is an animated movie telling the story of Miles Morales, a boy who is bitten by a radioactive spider and finds himself obtaining superpowers. His world’s Spiderman dies before telling him how to use his powers, so he finds himself both guilty for being unable to do anything and confused about how his powers work. However, he finds that the Spidermen from different universes have been sent to his world, so with their help, he refines his powers and helps the group save the multiverse from Kingpin, Doc Oc, and other notable Spiderman villains. There are many notable actors who helped voice characters in the film, such as John Mulaney, who voiced Spiderham, a pig from a cartoon world who has taken the mantle of Spiderman, and Nicolas Cage, who voices Spider Noir, a Spiderman who works as a detective in the late 1930s.

At first, Miles is really just as normal as any teenager: he listens to music, is sociable, cracks jokes, and likes to make art to express himself. His relationship with his parents isn’t the best that it could be, but he is mostly able to confide in them. He does have a stronger bond with his uncle, Aaron, and likes to go to him for advice more than he goes to his father (his father is a police officer and doesn’t approve of Miles putting stickers on places he shouldn’t).

When he gets bitten by the radioactive spider, everything for him changes. He doesn’t know how to properly control them, leading to him getting in all sorts of crazy shenanagins when trying to navigate his school without anyone knowing. He later meets the real Spider-Man while he fightst the Green Goblin, and Peter can tell right away that he has similar powers. He promises to help him learn how to control them- a promise he isn’t able to keep when he is killed by Kingpin.

He meets Peter B, the more lethargic Spider-Man, and is disappointed when he finds that he isn’t like his own world’s Spider-Man. They have a loose relationship- Peter doesn’t want to be Spider-Man, but has to so he can help Miles, and refuses to teach him even though Miles shows potential.

When they meet the other Spider-Men, they find that he isn’t as capable as the rest of them, since he has only has his powers for a little over a day, and refuses to let him help with getting back at Kingpin. He dejectedly goes to talk to Aaron, but is distraught when he finds out that Aaron is working for the villains. Him and the other Spider-Men are ambushed, and Miles is cornered by Aaron, who is killed by Kingpin for not doing his job once he realizes who Miles is.

After all of these setbacks and moments of heartbreak, one would think that Miles would certainly give up, right? That’s the oppisite of what he does. In an amazingly animated scene, he goes to the tallest building he can, sticks himself to the glass, and jumps.

This scene is framed to give us a beautiful perspective. Miles isn’t falling down; he is rising up, with shattered pieces of glass falling around him, and shows us in one beautiful scene his leap of faith and the journey he’s had to go on to get to this moment. The music is quiet. It feels tense. The scene imeediately cuts into him falling, flailing his arms in a panic. But just before he hits the ground, he slings his web, and flies up over the street.

This whole scene is, in my opinion, the best moment of the entire movie. He’s grown as a person, accepted his role, and knows how to control his powers. The line that is sung as he rises over the street is “don’t stop me now,” and that perfectly encaptures his journey; he didn’t stop, he kept growing, and will continue to grow, despite everything he’s been through.

I think we can all learn something from Miles’s journey, no matter who we are. It’s both an amazing story and a beautiful example of the media of animation at its finest. This movie, no matter who you are, has a story that everyone can relate to: one of growing up, learning how to cope with new situations, and rising up to face your fears head on. And that is a beautiful story to tell.

Author: Caroline Nations

I used to be Caroline Nations. If this is who you're looking for, I'm sorry. I'm Kai now. Seventeen, young and sweet, MSA student, and I'm not throwing away my shot.