SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE introduces viewers to 14-year-old Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), who’s reluctantly enrolled in an elite New York City boarding school but would rather hang out with his Brooklyn friends. After he’s accidentally bitten by a radioactive spider, Miles starts to experience changes he can’t explain. Retracing his steps to a mysterious underground lab, Miles discovers Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Jake Johnson) trying to stop greedy crime boss Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) from opening a hole in the space-time continuum, which could destroy New York. () Spider-Man is mortally wounded, but Kingpin’s experiment results in Peter Parker (this one older and more haggard) from a parallel universe showing up and bumping into Miles, who asks him for mentorship and advice. Together they encounter four more “Spider-people,” including teenage Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), an anime-style girl from the distant future (Kimiko Glenn), a cartoon pig (John Mulaney), and a black-and-white 1930s noir Spider-Man (Nicolas Cage). After getting over their shock, everyone understands they must work as a team to defeat Kingpin and return to their own universes.
Parents need to know that is a funny, original, action-packed animated Marvel adventure that centers on Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), who becomes a new Spider-Man and ends up meeting other Spider-people from parallel universes. It’s sure to appeal to Spidey fans of all ages, and it’s more tween friendly than the live-action wall-crawler movies, but it’s still pretty intense. And while the violence is mostly cartoonish, there are lots of fights that involve weapons (including guns), injuries, and even death. (: One version of Spider-Man dies, as does an important supporting character.) There’s also large-scale destruction, as well as frequent peril, suspense, and mortal danger. Characters flirt a little and occasionally use words like “crap,” “hell,” “dang,” “fat,” “stupid,” and “dumb.” But kids won’t fail to notice the movie’s diverse characters and clear messages about friendship, courage, mentoring, perseverance, teamwork, and (of course!) the nature of power and responsibility. Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Nicolas Cage co-star.