What chance does Spider-Man have of not going down in defeat this weekend?
If history is any predictor, then the Golden Globes trophy for 2018’s best animated feature will be handed to Disney/Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” during Sunday’s telecast – winning in a field of five that includes Sony’s late-year smash, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
That’s because of the backstory: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Globes’s voting body, adores its Disney. A movie distributed by Disney has been crowned best animated feature 10 times during the dozen years of the category’s existence. (The only animated films that have beat the Mouse House are 2011’s “The Adventures of Tintin” and 2014’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”)
By contrast, during that time, animated films distributed beneath the Sony umbrella – including four involving Sony Pictures Animation – have gone 0-for-5.
But “Spider-Verse” is Sony’s best shot yet to break the losing streak.
First, factor in the critical response. Of Disney’s two nominees this year, the “Incredibles” sequel has an average score of 80 on Metacritic.com, and Disney Animation’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” has a 71. “Spider-Verse” tops both with 87. (Of the other two nominees, the Fox Searchlight-distributed “Isle of Dogs” scores an 82, and Studio Chizu’s “Mirai” gets an 81.)
“Spider-Verse” is also tops on Rotten Tomatoes, where it’s certified as 97 percent “fresh” among professional critics and gets a 94 percent score among civilian filmgoers.
“Spider-Verse” is even leading a simple vote on IMDb.com, where as of Friday morning the Sony movie had nearly 3,900 votes in response to the question: Who should win? “Incredibles 2” was second with just 3,300 votes.
So the question becomes: Is “Spider-Man” good enough to overcome possible voter bias for Disney and Pixar, given those latter studios’ high reputation and record of excellence? Plus, “The Incredibles” is a beloved, Oscar-winning franchise that has grossed nearly $1.9 billion worldwide. (“Spider-Verse,” which introduces webslinger Miles Morales, has grossed $227 million worldwide since its mid-December release.)
So although the Pixar film would seem to have the edge, the dazzling, dizzying effects of “Spider-Verse” do make it a strong contender.
“Spider-Verse” is a richly layered, visually innovative tour de force, delivering waves of tucked-in nods to a half-century of Spider-Man comic books specifically and Marvel Comics more generally – and popping off the screen with constant stylistic shifts and even splashes of “Kirby Krackle.” The look of “Spider-Verse” should render it a powerful contender at the Oscars and the animation industry’s Annie Awards.
But if “Spider-Verse” can buck history and even win over the Hollywood Foreign Press, then it will emerge as The One to Beat at the Academy Awards, presuming that it’s a lock for a nomination.
And in one last twist, a win for “Spider-Verse” is also a win for production partner Marvel Entertainment – which, as it happens, is a subsidiary of Disney.
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