Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a hit film hailed as a game-changing meld of CG technology with a retro, hand-drawn spirit, won the Golden Globe tonight as the top animated feature film of 2018.
Accepting the award, Spider-Verse producer and co-writer Phil Lord praised the “800 filmmakers around the world” who were challenged to reinvent the modern animation process with the film. The film was a surprise sensation among the many 2018 superhero releases, which Lord acknowledged by wondering aloud if the Globes victory was occurring “in an alternate universe.”
Spider-Verse is only the second theatrical animated film based on characters from Marvel Comics (the first was Big Hero 6 in 2014) and it veered from every previous big-screen Spider-Man adaptation by featuring a new version of the hero — a bilingual, mixed-race teen named Miles Morales (given voice by Shameik Moore).
The film, which was directed by the trio of Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, faced a challenging field of competitors in the category: Pixar’s The Incredibles 2, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet Studio Chizu’s Mirai and Wes Anderson’s eccentric epic Isle of Dogs.
The favorite in the category was Incredibles 2, the sequel that reunited the super-powered members of the Parr family (as well as writer-director Brad Bird) for a follow-up adventure that arrived in theaters 14 years after The Incredibles. The Pixar hit finished 2018 as the third highest-grossing film in domestic box office.
The animated feature competition is the “youngest” Globes category — the trophy was first presented in January 2007 at the 64th edition of the Globes. Cars from Disney’s Pixar drove off with that inaugural trophy and the CG-pioneering studio won each of the next four years as well, ushering in a decade of categorical dominance by the CG-pioneering studio.
Amazingly, all 10 Pixar films released since Cars have earned a nomination in the category. Eight of them went on to win the Globe, the most recent being last year’s triumphant Coco. In 12 years, only two Pixar films have gone home empty-handed: Cars 2 (2011) and, now, The Incredibles 2.
The Disney domination doesn’t stop there. Add in the wins by Frozen (2013) and Zootopia (2016) — each produced by the company’s old-school brand, Walt Disney Animation Studios — and Team Mouse has claimed the animation category 10 out of its 12 years of existence.
The timing of Spider-Verse gave it an extra emotional resonance, too, arriving in theaters in December, just weeks after the death of one Spider-Man co-creator (writer and Marvel icon Stan Lee at age 95) and a mere six months after the passing of the other (legendary artist Steve Ditko at age 90). The Golden Globe win for the Sony film also provides a memorable January kick-off moment for the 2019 celebration of the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics.