It’s been a long road to the screen for Nimona, the animated adaptation of ND Stevenson’s webcomic-turned-graphic novel about a wronged knight in a wild sci-fi techno-future, and the shape-changing girl who declares herself to be his sidekick. The movie was originally in production at Blue Sky Studios (home of the Ice Age movies), and it was months from completion when Disney — which had acquired Blue Sky’s parent company, 20th Century Fox — cancelled the project. (A Blue Sky employee told Business Insider last year that Disney “systematically censors queer content,” implying the film was shut down because it features a gay couple as two of its leads.)
Netflix announced in April 2022 that it was picking up the project and completing it, and now, the streaming service has released the first teaser for the film. This early look only features a small amount of actual animation from the film — mostly, it’s a jaunty framing story where that shape-changing girl, Nimona (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz), draws herself into a Disney-style classic fairy tale in order to mock it — and set a Disney princess type and her entire castle on fire. The whole thing comes with the kind of stylized, fast-moving, “teen artist playing with style and self-insertion” flavor as Netflix’s previous animated movie The Mitchells vs. the Machines.
But the final part of the teaser does offer a quick look at the Nimona world, and particularly Nimona herself, transforming into a whale, a gorilla, and other animals. If you don’t blink, you’ll get a quick look at the graphic novel’s hero, Ballister Blackheart — here renamed Ballister Boldheart — in the middle of a chaotic fight.
Here’s Netflix’s description of the movie:
A Knight (Riz Ahmed) is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and the only person who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz), a shape-shifting teen who might also be a monster he’s sworn to kill. Set in a techno-medieval world unlike anything animation has tackled before, this is a story about the labels we assign to people and the shapeshifter who refuses to be defined by anyone.
Nimona will premiere at the Annecy Animation festival in mid-June, and it will arrive on Netflix June 30.