Representation matters, be it in cinema, on TV, or on the page. And representation matters especially to LGBTQ+ young people and their families. They need to see themselves reflected on screen, particularly in the animated feature arena where queer protagonists are few and far between.
With its theme of gender fluidity Oscar-nominated Nimona was deeply personal for its creator, ND Stevenson who suffered from dysphoria and began publishing the webcomic while a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. “I hadn’t seen a character like [Nimona] when I started the comic, and I wanted to see that character,” says Stevenson, who identifies as non-binary.
Set in a futuristic-medieval world, Nimona tells the story of the eponymous shapeshifter — usually a teenage girl, but able to transform into any human or animal —who joins forces with Ballister, a gay knight wrongfully convicted of murder.
When Netflix distributed the film theatrically in 190 territories in June 2023 audiences of all ages connected with its story and LGBTQ+ characters. “Nimona is an incredibly beautiful piece of queer media,” wrote one viewer on social media. “I cried and laughed with my partner as we watched it together.”