Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the Golden Globes Award for Best Animated Picture, which is the beginning of a successful premiere. It is also the highest rated animated superhero movie of 2018, according to Rotten Tomatoes, and has been a box office success closing in on $300-million worldwide.
The success of the movie is no surprise, produced by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (The LEGO Movie) and featuring one of the most beloved superheroes of all-time, albeit a version many mainstream fans were unfamiliar with in Miles Morales. Yet, the movie made him a perfect Spider-Man and someone who can stand side-by-side with Peter Parker in the eyes of most fans. With that in mind, here are 10 movie recommendations if you liked Spider-Verse.
10. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Of course, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was not the first movie to revive the Spider-Man franchise after Amazing Spider-Man was a critical disappointment. While most fans who watched Spider-Verse likely already saw it, we would be remiss not to mention Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Tom Holland took Spider-Man back to his teenage years in high school, and Jon Watts directed a movie that was true to the spirit of the classic Marvel Comics version of Spidey. Homecoming did for Peter Parker what Spider-Verse did for Miles Morales, and both versions stand tall as the two best movies of the entire franchise. Spider-Man: Homecoming gets a sequel in 2019.
9. Big Hero 6
There were some grumblings from people wondering why a movie like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse needed a big screen version. With all the animated superhero movies coming straight to Blu-ray, what was so special about this one? If those pessimists saw the movie, they understood why it was so special. It also isn’t the first time this happened.
In 2014, Disney released its first theatrical animated Marvel Comics movie with Big Hero 6. It was a huge gamble as no one really knew anything about Big Hero 6 outside of hardcore comic book fans. What resulted was a massive success, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture. If Spider-Verse wins the Oscar, Marvel will be two-for-two for animated films.
8. Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had some great callbacks to other movies in the franchise. The biggest thing is that it seemed to completely ignore the Amazing Spider-Man franchise and only took into account the Sam Raimi trilogy. This included the kissing Mary Jane while hanging upside down, fighting Doctor Octopus, and dancing down the street while under Venom’s control.
So, if you only watch one of the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, watch the second one. Alfred Molina is fantastic as Doctor Octopus and the story in this movie made it one of the best comic book movies of its time frame. If you watch two of them, watch the original Spider-Man, but don’t worry if you miss the third film in the trilogy.
7. Howard The Duck
Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham. Kids were introduced to him most recently in the Ultimate Spider-Man television cartoon where they did their own version of the Spider-Verse back in the third season. Spider-Man met Miles Morales, Spider-Girl, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, Spyder-Knight, and Spider-Ham in that series.
Older fans met Spider-Ham all the way back in 1983 where he got his own Marvel Comics series. Around the same time, Howard the Duck was very popular at Marvel Comics and—believe it or not—was the star of the very first ever Marvel Comics movie to show in theaters in 1986. Don’t believe people who say the movie is bad — it’s just an acquired taste.
6. LEGO Batman Movie
Christopher Miller and Phil Lord didn’t direct Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse but Lord was the man who wrote the script. It was easy to see as the movie went on because it contained so much of the meta-humor that Lord and Miller use in all their movies, from 21 Jump Street to The LEGO Movie.
The scene where Spider-Verse showed the different things that Spider-Man did from the Sam Raimi movies was extremely similar to the scenes in LEGO Batman Movie where Alfred is talking about Batman’s different outings in his various movies over the years. While Lord and Miller only produced LEGO Batman Movie, it shares a strong DNA with Spider-Verse.
5. Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors
In the comics, Miles Morales ended up changing worlds, going from his Ultimate Universe home to the mainstream Marvel Universe where he lived in the same world as Peter Parker. That meant there were two Spider-Men swinging around and saving lives. While there, he met some close friends and became a teammate to other young teenage heroes in this world.
These included Ms. Marvel and he joined the team known as The Champions with her and other youngsters, including Sam Alexander’s Nova and Amadeus Cho’s Hulk. For anyone who enjoyed the story of a teenager becoming a hero, Ms. Marvel recently appeared in a movie called Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors with Squirrel Girl, America Chavez, and more.
4. Next Avengers: Heroes Of Tomorrow
The biggest thing about Miles Morales becoming a superhero had to do with him living up to the reputation that Peter Parker left behind before he lost his life. Morales never felt like he matched up to the hero that came before him, and that made his own hero’s journey even harder.
A similar story came in the Marvel DTV movie Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow. This movie takes place in the future where Ultron has taken over the world and almost all heroes are gone. However, Tony Stark lived and has been raising and training the children of Black Panther, Wasp, Captain America, and Thor — all of which find that living up to their parent’s legacy is not as easy as it seemed.
Maybe it is time to give Ang Lee‘s Hulk a reevaluation. There are some things about the movie that do not work. The Hulk Dogs look ridiculous and the final fight between Hulk and his dad, who might be the Absorbing Man, is really hard to follow. However, Sony had to know what they were getting.
Ang Lee is an arthouse director and what he directed here was an arthouse superhero movie. There was a lot of destruction and mayhem, but this was mostly about Bruce Banner coming to terms with the monster within. One cool thing about Spider-Verse was that the movie looked like a comic and actually used comic book panels in the film. Hulk did that as well 16 years ago, and it was just as cool then as it is now.
Once upon a time, Tim Burton and Kevin Smith wanted Nic Cage to play Superman. As crazy as that entire idea seems now, it is an interesting thing to just think about (he finally voiced him in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies). Now, fans of Spider-Verse get to hear Cage playing the perfect Spider-Man for his voice talents: Spider-Man Noir.
However, in between the failed Superman movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Cage got to actually star in a superhero movie. He was Big Daddy, the father of Hit-Girl, in Kick-Ass. Interestingly, the origin story of Spider-Man Noir in the comics was a lot more violent than the mainstream Spidey. It really parallels with the way Big Daddy fought crime in the world of Kick-Ass.
1. Kubo And The Two Strings
For anyone who thinks that it is silly that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is making “best of” lists at the end of the year all because it is “just a cartoon,” need to watch Kubo and the Two Strings. Released in 2016 by Laika (ParaNorman), this animated film tells the story of a young man who happens to be the grandson of The Moon King.
After he loses his mother, he teams up with an anthropomorphic snow monkey and beetle to hide from his murderous aunts to discover his true destiny. It is better than just about any live-action movie and proof that these are real movies and not just cartoons. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was more than just an animated movie, and like Kubo, it deserves all the praise it receives.
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