Blue Sky Studios, the animation studio behind the Ice Age film series, the Rio films, and The Peanuts Movie, among other films, was shut down in February 2021, just over two years after Disney formally acquired 21st Century Fox.
Blue Sky was around 75 percent finished with the LGBTQ+ animated film Nimona, an adaptation of the same-named graphic novel by ND Stevenson, when it closed its doors. Nimona is being revived by Netflix, which is great news for fans.
Nimona is being added to the Netflix movie library, rather than being cursed to sit on the proverbial shelf at Disney, never to be finished. This information comes from the streaming service, which revealed the following details about Nimona as well as a still from the film, which you can see below:
What a wonderful way to start the week! We’ve assumed for almost a year that Nimona will never be completed because Disney didn’t allocate any funding for its creative staff to finish it, but that’s no longer the case. Netflix teamed with Annapurna Pictures “when filming began early last year” to offer Nimona to Netflix customers in 2023, with DNEG Animation handling the animation, according to an official announcement. That kind of wording suggests that the Nimona Netflix viewers will be able to watch next year will be different from the one planned by the now-defunct Blue Sky Studios, but hey, at least this film adaptation is on the road… again!
For those unfamiliar with Nimona, it was first released as a webcomic by ND Stevenson between 2012 and 2014, and then as a graphic novel by HarperCollins in 2015. The protagonist of the novel is a shapeshifter who teams up with the evil Ballister Blackheart to try to destroy the Institution, which he formerly fought for as a knight. While Blackheart desires to carry out his retribution mission in accordance with his moral code, Nimona has no qualms about killing individuals along the road. Nimona has received numerous awards, including an Eisner Award in 2016 for Best Graphic Album — Reprint, as well as nominations in the Best Digital/Webcomic category the year before.
The news that Netflix will release Nimona comes a month after it was reported that Disney had an issue with the story’s LGBTQ+ components, notably a same-sex kiss, when it was overseeing the Blue Sky’s Studios version of the movie. According to unnamed Blue Sky animators, they were under “pressure” from Disney to remove the kiss, and the company’s reaction to Nimona’s gay themes “created a strange atmosphere” within the studio. We won’t have to worry about these concerns now that Nimona is available on Netflix(opens in new tab), but we’ll have to wait and see how the film compares to the original source material when it comes out next year.