How great was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse?! So great it garnered a Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination for the 2019 Academy Awards.
Entertainment Weekly: Historically, the Oscars have tended to overlook superhero movies, but between Spider-Verse and Black Panther, it’s exciting to see movies like this lifted up this year. What does it mean to you guys to see a superhero movie get Academy Awards attention?
BOB PERSICHETTI: For me, it’s just another chapter in what we’ve been feeling, which is that when people see the movie, it just defies their expectations. It doesn’t fall into one category. It’s not just a superhero film, it’s not just an animated film: It’s all of those things. At its core, it’s really trying to be just a touching story about a kid and his family. You put visuals on it and Spider-Man and all these other things, but that’s the thing that seems to resonate the most and cut through everything else. It just feels like it’s a time to recognize that. That’s such a part of our culture, the idea that superhero movies could be more than popcorn fare while still being popcorn fare — enjoyable but also meaningful.
As to the tremendously positive reception to the animated film, the directors commented:
PETER RAMSEY: It’s been overwhelming. I think one of the most gratifying and unexpected things is just the overwhelming emotion people have. They’re just exploding. It’s amazing. That experience of people identifying with Miles…. A lot of kids, especially kids of color, are identifying with Miles. A lot of African-American kids, a lot of Latino kids, but all kids, the vehemence that they feel! I think it’s something about the story being about connection and finding yourself. It’s so much about that, and I’m kind of staggered by it.
BOB PERSICHETTI: I think the part that’s even more staggering is it’s not just the kids having that kind of reaction. I’m literally getting text messages from parents at my kids’ school, and they’re having very similar, very passionate, very powerful reactions. It’s a total surprise.
RODNEY ROTHMAN: We made the movie from the very beginning with a conviction that animation is a medium, not a genre, and that’s how we approach it: It’s a medium for visual storytelling, and our goal was just to make a good movie for everyone, a movie that could stand alongside virtually any other movie. It could appeal to a kid or could appeal to someone who’s 40 or 50 or 80, and that’s what our goal was. So the movie is an expression of that, and it’s been overwhelming to see that born out, to see such a wide range of people moved by what we were doing or inspired by what we were doing creatively. There’s been a huge movement of people making art inspired by our movie.
PERSICHETTI: And with their own identity attached to it!
Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse is still playing in select theaters. The 91st Annual Academy Awards will take place on February 28th 2019.