AiPT!’s David Brooke first reviewed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse when it was initially released. Since then, it has been lavished with praise from critics and audiences alike and won a Golden Globe. It is a groundbreaking film that gets better with repeated viewings. But how would a six year old perceive the film?
Since it was first released I have wanted to take my godson to see Spider-Verse. Unfortunately, between holidays, illnesses, and just life, we have not been able to see it. Finally, almost two full months after its initial release, I took my godson to see Spider-Verse. (Good thing I made sure to watch it opening night.)
I knew my godson would like Spider-Verse. Kids are naturally drawn to Spider-Man. Plus, it was animated. The movie checked off all the boxes needed to grab a six year old’s attention. What I was not counting on was how much the music would draw him in.
From the opening moments, my godson loved the music. From humming along to Post Malone to bopping his head to Biggie Smalls to laughing to Spidey singing Christmas carols, there was not a song that did not have him rhythmically swaying in his seat. A movie’s soundtrack can elevate it to further heights – especially when it is able to touch all ages.
As neat as it was to see how much he liked the music, I was kind of worried as to whether my godson would understand Spiderverse. It seems like a pretty straightforward story about the crossing of dimensions leading to the inevitable destruction of the entire universe, but for a six year old it can get a little difficult. After all, there is a Spider-Man thrust into a world where Spider-Man already exists. Plus, there is the case of Peter Parker. And that is before we even get to the black and white Spider-Man, the pig, and the two female versions.
I think he understood the movie for the most part. He may not have appreciated all of Spider-Man Noir’s jokes or gotten any of the Easter Eggs, but he knew the Spider-Force were from different worlds. He also knew they all had overcome great adversary to be heroes. (He worded it a little differently.) His reaction reaffirmed my belief that Spider-Verse is at its heart a basic Spider-Man story anyone can enjoy.
Where Spider-Verse really hooked him was in its emotional storytelling. Towards the end of the movie there is a pivotal scene involving Miles and his uncle Aaron. My godson looked at me and was on the verge of tears. As the credits rolled, he told me “I was sad, but now I am very happy.” I was glad the movie was more to him than just another superhero cartoon.
I was also curious to see how he would react to Miles Morales. After all, Peter Parker is a very recognizable name. How would a child react to seeing someone else as Spider-Man? The costume and story were going to be hard enough for him to wrap his head around. Would he able to deal with a Spider-Man that he had never heard of?
My godson loved Miles. It was not just a case of him thinking Miles was a cool guy. He was actively cheering for him. During the pivotal scene mentioned earlier, I heard my godson whispering, “It’s okay, Miles. You can do it.” He also encouraged Miles to never give up and cheered for him at the end. I was glad to see that not only was he willing to give Miles a chance but he was actually enjoying his Spider-Man.
Critics and audiences agree that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a landmark achievement. I personally think that it was the best movie of last year. Even better, my godson loved it. Atlhough I still disagree with his belief that Ralph Breaks the Internet is better.