Normal “Spider-Man” movies have one Spider-Man, usually a guy named Tobey or Andrew or Tom. The animated “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” has so many Spider-People spinning webs and swinging around that it might seem one needs a scorecard to keep them all straight.
“Spider-Verse” (in theaters Friday), which has become an overnight Oscar favorite after Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations for best animated film, takes inspiration from Spidey co-creator Stan Lee and runs wild, centering on cool alternate-world heroes who team up with a new kid wearing the familiar mask, Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore).
Review: Daring ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is the year’s best animated film
But “you don’t have to have seen any single thing of Spider-Man before to appreciate the movie,” promises Chris Miller, who produces alongside Phil Lord. “It’s a coming-of-age story about this kid and his family and finding a group of friends, and it hits on completely universal themes.”
Here’s a viewer’s guide to the ins and outs of “Spider-Verse,” courtesy of Lord and Miller:
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