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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 11, 2023



‘NIMONA’ is a cartoon (CGI) fantasy-comedy film on Netflix based on the comic series written by ND Stevenson, who’s a trans, but he wrote this before he came out. 

He also wrote the animated series “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” that successfully ran on Netflix for five seasons.

We were not so keen on watching “Nimona”, but Director Perci Intalan says he enjoyed it so we watched it and we agree, it’s quite entertaining. 

Ably directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, the quality of animation is outstanding and the superb vocal performance of Chloe Grace Moretz in the title role as Nimona is awesome.

She does it with so much wit. Nimona also enjoys doing mischievous fun, as she has complete disregard for authority and finds destroying things and harming people quite enjoyable.

Nimona is a red-headed mysterious entity who can do shape-shifting. 

She can transform herself into a rhinoceros, a dog, a whale, a cat, a bird, and many other animals, all colored pink. 

She applies as a sidekick to Ballister Boldheart (voice by Riz Ahmed, who got an Oscar nomination for “Sound of Metal”), the first commoner to be knighted in a kingdom where the set up is like in a medieval feudal state, but they have very modern contraptions, like they travel on flying hovercrafts and have gadgets like cellphones. 

The kingdom is led by Queen Valerin (Lorraine Toussaint) who is protected by the Institute of Elite Knights. 

It was established by their hero named Gloreth, who fought a monster 1,000 years ago. 

It’s Queen Valerin who has decided to honor Boldheart with a knighthood, who achieved it through merit and hard work, even if he’s not a member of any noble family, to demonstrate to their citizens that anyone can be a hero, not just those born with royal blood. 

During the knighting ceremony, as the Queen is about to give knighthood to the kneeling Ballister, his sword suddenly lights up and sends a deadly laser beam that kills the Queen. 

It’s obvious that someone framed up Ballister for murdering the queen. He is arrested and his right arm was cut off by Ambrosius Goldenloin (Eugene Lee Yang), who happens to be his lover. 

Yes, the story has an LGBT factor with the male hero being gay, not a swishy fag but a straight-acting macho gay.  

Ambrosius is a knight who’s a descendant of Gloreth and he’s the opposite of Ballister who is a mere commoner. 

He is also white, with blonde hair, while Ballister is pictured more like a Black Knight bullied by the other entitled knights.

Now, he has become an outcast and a fugitive, after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. 

He goes into hiding and meets Nimona, who most people considered a monster because of her powers to change her appearance. 

She says Ballister is considered a villain like her, so she is now willing to be his sidekick who will help him prove his innocence.

With her help, Ballister abducts Diego, the squire who exchanged his sword with the one that killed the Queen. 

Diego reveals that the real murderer is the Director of the Elite Knights, who resents the Queen’s defying their tradition when she chose a commoner like Ballister to become a noble knight.

Together, Nimona and Ballister will go through many exciting adventures that put their lives in danger and will test their friendship with each other. 

Both of them are likeable heroes so we cheer for them. It makes for a fast-paced action packed movie.

The lines between heroes, villains and monsters get blurred as the narrative goes along, but the film has an obvious subtext that aims to impart some humane life lessons. 

In effect, it says that society itself creates monsters because of the social prejudices of people who won’t accept their differences. 

And Nimona is the kind of free-spirited heroine who gets a kick out of shocking or hurting anyone who will not accept her for who or what she is.