“Nimona” is nearly here. And before it hits the streaming service next month, Netflix has just unleashed a new trailer for the animated feature that gives viewers a taste of its world and introduces the titular shapeshifting teen (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz). You can watch the new teaser below.
The trailer is pretty inventive, with a paper cutout introduction to the world of “Nimona” – it takes place in The Kingdom, a kind of futuristic medieval society that has been trained to fear a race of mythical creatures. (They have erected a massive wall – sound familiar?) A disgraced, one-armed knight who was framed for murder (Riz Ahmed), winds up befriending Nimona, who turns out to be one of these creatures – she can shapeshift into virtually anything or anyone (in the trailer you see her turn into a whale, a gorilla and an armadillo among other things). Together, they both are searching for acceptance – and to clear their respective names.
If you’ve already heard of “Nimona,” it’s probably because the adaptation of ND Stevenson’s award-winning webcomic was originally set up at Blue Sky Studios in Greenwich, Connecticut, under the direction of Patrick Osborne (Disney’s Oscar-winning short “Feast”). When Disney acquired 20th Century in 2019, they become uncomfortable with some of the movie’s more overt LGBTQ themes and delayed the movie indefinitely before canceling it outright.
The following year Annapurna Pictures, which has been relatively quiet of late (but has produced animated features like “Missing Link” and “Sausage Party”), took on the project. Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, who had directed Blue Sky’s “Spies in Disguise,” were brought on to direct, with DNEG Animation handling the beautiful new animation. Then in 2022, Netflix picked the film up for distribution.
Nimona is, herself, the latest in a long line of truly remarkable animated shapeshifters – from Robin Williams’ Genie in “Aladdin” (animated by the legendary Eric Goldberg) to Dwayne Johnson’s Maui in “Moana.” And she ranks among these classic characters.
“Nimona” premieres next month at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and streams exclusively on Netflix June 30.