In the pantheon of animated films, many feature films have been critically acclaimed. But in 2018, one of them was a real slap in the face for the public.

Often underestimated because it is considered a genre dedicated to children, the animated film is nevertheless full of real gems which have had a real impact on the history of cinema. Between the behemoths of Disney/Pixar, the poetic gems of Ghibli or the prowess of French studios (Illumination or Fortiche), it’s difficult to decide which is the best of all time, even if everyone can have these preferences. But in 2018, one of them revolutionized the genre by offering a jubilant experience for the public.

Spider-Man: New Generation is not yet another adaptation of the adventures of Spider-Man… or at least not only that. The animated film released in 2018 describes the adventures of Miles Morales, a teenager experiencing an identity crisis who finds himself bitten by a spider. He then discovers the existence of the Multiverse when Spider-Man (and Woman) from different parallel timelines find themselves stuck in his world.

Beyond offering a reinterpretation of the character of Spider-Man, Spider-Man: New Generation takes everyone by surprise thanks to its shocking visual identity put entirely at the service of its intrigue on the notion of heroism and destiny . The directors, Lord and Miller, chose to combine computer animation with manual techniques inspired by comic books. This mix of 2D and 3D, completely different drawing styles in the same scene, had never been seen before. So much so that Sony Pictures Animation had to hire no less than 140 animators for this feature film, just that.

A real visual slap in the face and a highly thrilling film, Spider-Man: New Generation has totally won over the public. While its budget was estimated at $90 million, it grossed $384.3 million worldwide. Its reviews are rave: for Empire, it is the best animated film (ahead of Toy Story, Princess Mononoke, Wall-E or Totoro, no less), while Ecran Large considers that it is “certainly the best animated film”. ‘superhero animation, and one of the best films in short of 2018’. Spider-Man: New Generation won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2019, and it is still considered, to this day, one of the best animated films of the last two decades.

If Spider-Man: New Generation established itself as a major film of the genre upon its release, its sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse, released in 2023, has once again pushed the technological boundaries by offering creative prowess and visuals never before seen elsewhere. If you missed the phenomenon, Spider-Man: New Generation is available for streaming on Netflix.