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Netflix's Nimona - Everything You Need To Know

Netflix has been very successful in the animation department, releasing many cartoon adventures that have garnered impressive viewership numbers, significant critical acclaim, and major attention from top-tier awards. The latest addition to their lineup is "Nimona," a motion picture that's had quite the journey from webcomic to the big screen. This little film has survived cancelation, major delays, and studio shake-ups, eventually finding new life with the streaming powerhouse. Now, it's ready to introduce the world to its one-of-a-kind shapeshifting heroine and her colorfully chaotic world.

From its rip-roaring story to its talented cast, there are many reasons animation fans shouldn't sleep on "Nimona." Looking to learn more about this raucously delightful movie? We've got you covered. This is everything you need to know about "Nimona," 2023's most unique fantasy adventure.

When will Netflix's Nimona be released?

ND Stevenson, who is known for his work as showrunner on the Netflix series "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power," first created "Nimona" while in high school and later, when attending college, turned the ever-evolving concept into a webcomic, releasing it on Tumblr from 2012 to 2014. Stevenson used the story when it was completed as his thesis while he was a student cultivating his craft at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

In 2015, 20th Century Fox Animation retained the rights to turn "Nimona" into a full-length animated feature. The project was set to be produced by Blue Sky Studios alongside Vertigo Entertainment. In 2017, it was announced that the release date for "Nimona" would be February 14, 2020. But in 2019, 20th Century Fox was acquired by Disney, which delayed the project until March 5, 2021, and then again to January 14, 2022.

Then in 2021, Deadline reported that the House of Mouse announced it was shutting down Blue Sky Studios, and the movie was confirmed to be canceled. In March of 2022, a report from Business Insider stated that a former Blue Sky employee indicated that the film had been nixed due to its LGBTQ+ themes and was quoted saying that Disney "systematically censors queer content." 

Despite the unfortunate setbacks and unsettling accusations, Stevenson took to Twitter in April 2022 to reveal that Annapurna had resurrected the project and a 2023 Netflix release was set. "Nimona" finally became available to the public on June 30, 2023.

What is the plot of Netflix's Nimona?

After patiently waiting for several years and traversing through delay-heavy terrain, fans are finally able to experience the unique, fun-filled story "Nimona" has to offer. ND Stevenson's comic inspired the narrative, while the screenplay was penned by Robert L. Baird, whose credits include "Ferdinand," "Big Hero 6," and "Monsters University," and Lloyd Taylor, known for "Spies in Disguise."

Nimona may look like any other kid who hates labels and likes loud music, but in fact, she's no ordinary teenage girl. Nimona has a particular talent: She's a shapeshifter who can turn into all kinds of animals. Her impressive abilities and resilient attitude give her a significant edge in the techno-medieval world where her fascinating story occurs. She eventually encounters a down-on-his-luck knight who goes by the name Ballister Boldheart and has been framed for a crime he is not responsible for. The disgraced warrior believes the spirited shapeshifter may be the beast he's hunting — but also that she might be the only chance he has to clear his name. Given the plot of the graphic novel, we can safely say Netflix subscribers are in for an entertaining tale brought to life by a remarkable cast of characters.

Who is in the cast of Netflix's Nimona?

After the film had been canceled, Collider exclusively reported in March 2021 that Chloë Grace Moretz and Riz Ahmed would have been the stars bringing the main characters of "Nimona" to life. Ahmed is an Academy Award winner for his short film "The Long Goodbye" and was nominated for his work in "The Sound of Metal." In addition, he starred in "Rogue One" and "Venom." Moretz is known for her work in the "Kick-Ass" franchise, "Let Me In," "Mother/Android," and the Amazon Prime series "The Peripheral." Missing out on having these two big names playing great characters in a compelling tale would have been a real shame. 

But thankfully, when it was reported by Deadline that the flick had been revived by Netflix and Annapurna, the cast was also revealed. Moretz was confirmed to be playing the titular shapeshifter Nimona, while Ahmed was set to voice Ballister Boldheart, the knight accused of a crime he didn't commit and is also down one arm after a jousting match that didn't go as planned. And it was announced that the champion knight responsible for the armless incident, Ambrosius Goldenloin, would be voiced by Eugene Lee Yang from the YouTube group The Try Boys.

In April 2023, a report from The Hollywood Reporter revealed more members of the cast of "Nimona," including Lorraine Toussaint, Indya Moore, Beck Bennett, Sarah Sherman, Julio Torres, Frances Conroy, and RuPaul Charles. And leading them all is a solid pair of filmmakers who excel in animation.

Who is directing Netflix's Nimona?

In February 2017, it was announced that "Nimona" was originally set to be directed by Patrick Osborne, whose credits include the short film "Feast," but he was out when the project was canceled in 2020. When it was announced that "Nimona" was back in action with a new home, the new director or directors were also mentioned. Helming the long-awaited animated adventure would be Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, who previously directed the Blue Sky feature "Spies in Disguise."

But according to Business Insider, it appears the pair may have been somewhat sitting in the director's chairs a bit sooner. The publication's report indicates that a former employee of Blue Sky Studios revealed that Bruno and Quane had played the role of directors for the film in an unofficial capacity for some time before the studio was closed and the film canceled. Even Bruno himself verified his extensive involvement as well as unbridled excitement regarding the project when it was announced the film was set to be released in 2023. "Been directing this since March 2020," the filmmaker revealed in a tweet. "So thrilled to finally share the news. Global pandemics and studio closures can't stop NIMONA!!!" Through the ups and downs, even when all hope was lost, Bruno and Quane never gave up on "Nimona," and their efforts, as well as dedication, paved the way for the movie to finally have an audience.

Is there a trailer for Netflix's Nimona?

The "Nimona" trailer" starts off by introducing fans to Nimona's unique world. Subways, TV, and escalators exist in this universe — but so do armored knights and plenty of magic. Nimona makes this clear in the very first scene: She wears a chainmail shirt as she watches a newscast about Ballister Boldheart, an apparent villain currently on the loose. Though the public fears him, Nimona eagerly tracks him down and introduces herself as his new sidekick. When he protests, she points out that every villain needs a sidekick. "I'm not a villain!" Ballister insists. Nimona might be, though — she's openly excited about the prospect of killing his enemies — and the truth is, he needs her.

Glimpses of the plot follow, revealing that Ballister has been framed, and that he and the city's designated do-gooder, Ambrosius Goldenloin, have a complex past. Nimona has a complicated backstory of her own: In one arresting shot, we see angry people with pitchforks harassing a terrified kid who looks a lot like her. Her shapeshifting has clearly gotten her into trouble before, but as this trailer makes clear, she's not about to hang her talents up any time soon. She changes into everything from a bizarrely bipedal shark to a massive rhino in some of the trailer's most exhilarating sequences. If this trailer is anything to go by, "Nimona" promises to be a thrilling, hilarious, and affecting adventure and one of Netflix's must-watch movies.