Nimona – 64%
Reviewer Flickchart ranking: 1,839/5,053
Nimona has taken the streaming world by storm, flying into the Netflix Top 10 and climbing Flickchart’s 2023 chart with a recent 9,622-spot jump! It released on June 30th, and I had to jump in and experience this animated adventure for myself (with a couple kiddos).
Nimona is a family-oriented sci-fi medieval adventure. We follow the journey of commoner-turned-knight Ballister Boldheart (voiced by Riz Ahmed). Ballister has ascended above his station, and before he can be held up as an example for others, he is framed for a heinous crime. Reviled by all and abandoned by his romantic partner and fellow knight Ambrosius Goldenloin (voiced by Eugene Lee Yang), Ballister goes underground. A young girl, Nimona (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz), seeks out Boldheart in hopes that he is a rebel aiming to tear down the kingdom. That’s when the fun starts.
What follows is a wonderfully exuberant film with a message of universal acceptance packed within a tight action-adventure story. Nimona is played perfectly by Moretz, the titular character who carries the film with infectious personality and pathos. She helps our commoner knight continue to move the plot forward, imbued with adequate personality by Ahmed. In a cinematic landscape of 2.5-hours films, directors Troy Quane & Nick Bruno orchestrate a fully realized world, based on a graphic novel by N.D. Stevenson, in about 90 minutes.
While Nimona does an excellent job with its core, the film doesn’t attempt to develop other characters in a meaningful way. The story wears its themes on its sleeve without much attempt at subtlety or depth, particularly with its villain. These weaknesses keep Nimona from rising to a higher echelon, and will probably make the endless rewatches that await parents less rewarding. We watched it twice in less than 24 hours.
The fantastical world of Nimona is a gratifying at-home viewing experience. Families looking for a night of clever entertainment, as well as fantasy & sci-fi fans hoping for fun, intriguing lore, should both be satisfied. Nimona is a humorous, endearing, and enriching fable that will hopefully return in sequel or series form.