Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Nimona takes place in a futuristic medieval kingdom where Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed) finds the best day of his life turned into the worst when the during his knighting ceremony he's framed for the murder of the Queen (Lorraine Toussaint) by those with reason to not see a commoner become a knight and disrupt the status quo. Befriended by the impetuous Nimona (Chloƫ Grace Moretz), a shapeshifter who appears to him in the form of teenage girl, the two work together to uncover the truth, clear Ballister's name, and prove Nimona is more than just a monster.

The film makes several changes to its source material most importantly making Ballister a sympatric victim rather than the bitter villain Nimona hopes to find. While the two are branded as villains in the film, they are actually working to save the kingdom and force the populace to reconsider long held views about the world.

Nimona plays on basic fantasy tropes giving us an advanced technological civilization that still relies on knights and a wall to keep out the kind of monsters their founder repelled 1,000 years ago. While rambunctious, and certainly violent, Nimona is hardly the nightmare fuel that the populace's own fears make them see in her. And, as shown in a late flashback, that applies all the way back to the kingdom's early days as well. The choice of putting together Ballister and Ambrosius Goldenloin (Eugene Lee Yang) as friends and lovers on opposite sides of the conflict adds a nice wrinkle to events as well, although certain aspects such as the dumb jock Todd (Beck Bennett) grow tiring pretty quickly.

Although working in different ways, Nimona resembles Shrek in rearranging the basic building blocks of fairy tale storytelling and finding a new story to tell. The animation is quite good as well, particularly in the smoothness of Nimona's transformations and chaotic fun which often follows, but it can also can darken when necessary to deal with the more serious moments of Robert L. Baird and Lloyd Taylor. Rather than simply giving us a tale of good and evil with medieval trappings, Nimona has something to say on the subjects of good and evil, right and wrong, class and bigotry, fear, anger, and ultimately love.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Nimona
  • IMDb: link

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