‘Nimona’ Gay Kiss Breaks Barriers for Representation in Queer Animation

Ballister-and-Ambrosius-in-Nimona-on-Netflix

The cast and filmmakers shared their thoughts on the heartwarming same-sex kiss at the finale of the queer animated movie, ‘Nimona.’

WARNING: Spoiler alert! Don’t read if you don’t want to know the ending of ‘Nimona’

‘Nimona’ is based on nonbinary trans-masc creator ND Stevenson’s 2015 graphic novel which follows the shape-shifter Nimona (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz) who lives in a futuristic medieval world. She goes on an adventure with a knight who was framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and the only one who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona, the very creature he has sworn to destroy.

The comic and film made headlines for its queer and trans representation. Aside from Nimona being gender non-conforming, the film also features a same-sex romance between two male knights, Ballister Blackheart (voiced by Riz Ahmed) and Ambrosius Goldenloin (voiced by Eugene Lee Yang). And spoiler alert, the movie ends with Ballister and Ambrosius sharing a kiss!

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the filmmakers and cast sound off on why they believe ending the film with the gay kiss was the normal and obvious choice.

“It’s fascinating that there’s so much focus on something like a kiss because for us and a lot of audience members — not even queer-identifying audience members — it’s just normal,” Yang shared. “It just makes sense for the characters. The whole time you see them, you’re like, well, y’all have definitely kissed a lot! Y’all are kissing all the time whenever the camera’s not on you! So having that nice kiss at the end, it’s so casual, but it feels so earned and normal.”

Ahmed also expressed that the kiss was “very natural and organic.” 

“It’s not trying to make a point or beat a drum, but it’s not trying to hide something or sweep it under the carpet. It’s about the emotional truth of the characters, first and foremost,” he said.

Additionally, Ahmed spoke on how queer representations only count as authentic when they aren’t “tokenized.”

“I understand this is a big win and a big moment representation-wise, and we’re all so proud of that. But I think those moments only feel like real wins when they’re not tokenized when they are actually there because of the emotional truth of the character. When we are honoring these characters as human, that’s when it feels real, you know?” Ahmed shared.

Furthermore, Directors Troy Quane and Nick Bruno expressed that they never wanted to “dance around” Ballister and Ambrosius’ relationship, especially when their love for each other propels the plot. 

“Throughout the whole movie, our job was to try to show these characters and relationships in a truthful, honest, and authentic way,” Quane explained. “If you take sex or gender out of the equation, narratively, what would you want to see?” Bruno continued. “When the hero gets back to the person they love and has gone through this journey, [a kiss] would be your answer.”

Moreover, Stevenson expressed his gratitude towards the directors for sticking up for the gay kiss. The film was originally set to be under the studio Blue Sky, before Disney bought its parent company, Fox. Disney later shut down the studio and scrapped the film. Fortunately, Annapurna Pictures and Netflix picked it up and as they say, the rest is history.

“I was just so grateful to them for how much they believed in it and that I didn’t have to be the one to do that. It just meant the world to me to have people fighting so hard for this because it’s such an important part of the story. These characters don’t make sense without it. But from my point of view, I didn’t have to be the one pushing for that, and that was really important to me,” Stevenson said.

 

Source: (1)

RELATED ARTICLE:

‘Nimona’ Creator Says Movie Has “Transness and Fluidity At Its Heart”

 

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