Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Parent Guide
Stunning animation and a satisfying story work together to make a superior superhero movie.
Parent Movie Review
Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is settling into his role as Spider-Man, but he still struggles to keep the rest of his life in balance. It’s hard being the only Spider-Person in your dimension while knowing there are others out there that you can’t contact. That is, until Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) unexpectedly reappears and takes Miles into the multiverse where they meet a team of Spider-People tasked with protecting each and every universe. But as Miles learns more about the multi-verse, he starts to question what it means to be a hero.
I maintain that the original Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the greatest animated films ever made. This sequel had a lot to live up to and I am so happy to report that it does so with gusto. I don’t think I could say it’s quite as good as the original, but it gets extremely close. Part of that has to do with the longer runtime which results in a story that isn’t quite as tight, but that’s a small complaint. I didn’t even notice the over two-hour runtime, which is a huge feat for someone with as small a bladder as me. When the credits started to roll, I looked at my watch in disbelief that that much time had passed. That is a huge credit to this production as I’m usually the first to complain about runtimes, especially for movies aimed at children.
The original installment made a name for itself partially through its amazing animation style. The sequel pushes those artistic limits even further, resulting in a creation unrivaled in mainstream cinema. Each dimension and character has its own unique visual aesthetic, but it all flows together as one cohesive whole. This is what animation as a medium is for. Not for cookie-cutter 3D (looking at you Disney), but for pure creativity to tell a story in a way that only animation can. The watercolor backgrounds mixed with the pop art foregrounds are rich and require multiple viewings to fully take in all the details. The action sequences are thrilling and vibrant while the more subdued character moments make use of more muted palettes.
The art aside, the characters and story are just as well-written as we’ve come to expect. There are a few new characters, some of which are more developed than others, but all are welcome additions. Miles’ struggles are relatable, as are those of his family and loved ones. The story touches on themes of family, destiny, sacrifice, and choice, crafting a well-told, touching story that I think will stay with me for a while.
The tone of this installment is a bit darker than the previous one. There are laughs, but not as many, and the themes are deeper and darker. It still fits well within the PG rating, but parents of young children should be aware that the writers are aiming at older children and adults rather than the preschool crowd. The only negative content of note is the comic book violence, which is on par with the original, and a few minor expletives. That said, Spider-Man fans are sure to love this film, as are any audiences that appreciate well-written, stunningly animated art.Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson. Starring Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac. Running time: 140 minutes. Theatrical release June 2, 2023. Updated June 2, 2023
Watch the trailer for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Rating & Content Info
Why is Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse rated PG? Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is rated PG by the MPAA
Violence: Comic book violence throughout. Characters fight using superpowers including electrocution, super strength, and web slingers. Police characters handle and shoot guns.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: Four mild expletives and one use of a term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated June 2, 2023
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This movie is a sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which introduces audiences to Miles Morales as he learns on the job and tries to save the multiverse.
For a very unusual animated superhero flick, try Superman: Red Son. This film reimagines the Superman story, having him land in the Soviet Union and grow up as a defender of the communist system.
Young viewers will enjoy DC League of Super-Pets, a tale of superpowered pets who team up to save Superman after he’s kidnapped by an evil guinea pig.