Netflix today released the highly anticipated first teaser for its upcoming animated feature Nimona, which till hit the platform on June 30 after world Premiering at Annecy.
Among Netflix’s feature animation slate for the year, few titles come with as much buzz or baggage as Nimona. The film was first announced seven years ago by Fox Animation and has suffered years of development and production problems since. When the film was first announced, it was scheduled to be released in February of 2020 but was later delayed to March 2021.
Things went from bad to worse when the film’s first producer Blue Sky Studios was shuttered by Disney after being acquired in the 20th Century Fox acquisition. Nimona was the last feature announced by the studio before it was closed, and there were serious questions as to whether it would ever see the light of day, despite reports suggesting that significant portions of the film had already been finished.
In April of last year, Netflix announced that it had acquired Nimona back in early 2021 and was teaming with indie production company Annapurna Pictures to revive the film, with DNEG taking over animation.
- Nimona is directed by Spies in Disguise duo Nick Bruno and Troy Quane from an adapted screenplay by Robert L. Baird and Lloyd Taylor.
- The film is produced by Karen Ryan, Julie Zackary, and Roy Lee. Executive producers include Megan Ellison, Robert L. Baird, Andrew Millstein, and John Powers Middleton.
- Nimona is based on ND Stevenson’s eponymous National Book Award-nominated NYT bestselling graphic novel. Stevenson served as co-producer on the feature adaptation.
- Netflix’s synopsis reads: “When Ballister Boldheart, a knight in a futuristic medieval world, is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, the only one who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona, a mischievous teen with a taste for mayhem — who also happens to be a shapeshifting creature Ballister has been trained to destroy. But with the entire kingdom out to get him, Nimona’s the best (or technically the only) sidekick Ballister can hope for. And as the lines between heroes, villains, and monsters start to blur, the two of them set out to wreak serious havoc — for Ballister to clear his name once and for all, and for Nimona to… just wreak serious havoc.”
- The film’s voice cast includes Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, Eugene Lee Yang, Frances Conroy, Lorraine Toussaint, Beck Bennett, Indya Moore, RuPaul Charles, Julio Torres, and Sarah Sherman.
Cartoon Brew’s View: When Nimona was announced, Feast director Patrick Osborne was on board to direct, and his fingerprints can still be seen in the teaser’s aesthetic. The flat textures and vibrant lighting from that short appear to be standout features in Nimona. How audiences react to 90+ minutes of that look will likely have a major impact on the film’s success. In any case, it’s exciting when big studio films take aesthetic risks.
Directed by Nick Bruno & Troy Quane
Produced by Karen Ryan, Julie Zackary, Roy Lee
Screenplay by Robert L. Baird and Lloyd Taylor
Story by Robert L. Baird, Lloyd Taylor, Pamela Ribon, Marc Haimes, Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, Keith Bunin
Based Upon the Graphic Novel by ND Stevenson
Executive Producers: Megan Ellison, Robert L. Baird, Andrew Millstein, John Powers Middleton
Co-Producer: ND Stevenson
Music by Christophe Beck
Edited by Randy Trager, Erin Crackel
Head of Story: Jony Chandra
Production Designers: Aidan Sugano, Jeff Turley
Music Supervisor: Kier Lehman
Supervising Sound Designer: Ben Barker
Re-recording Mixers: Niv Adiri, Richard Spooner
Animation Director: Theodore A. Ty
Animation Supervisors: Matthew Doble, Ken Fountain, Jennifer E. Harlow, Chris Kirschbaum, Jackie Tarascio
Visual Effects Supervisors: Yancy Lindquist, Archie Donato
Casting by Kevin Reher, Natalie Lyon, Libby Thomas Dickey