Who's in It: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Chris Pine, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Mahershala Ali, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Vélez, Zoë Kravitz, Kimiko Glenn, Kathryn Hahn, Nicolas Cage, John Mulaney, Liev Schreiber
Disney may officially own Spider-Man as a character, but back when Marvel was its own entity and dealing with financial insecurity, it sold the hero’s film rights to Sony. As long as the studio releases a new Spider-Man project every five years, it is able to retain the rights even though Marvel and new parent company, Disney, are in a powerful financial position. Even though Sony struck a co-financing deal with the Big Mouse to have Spider-Man’s live-action appearances appear in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, that didn’t mean the company would forego producing animated features with the character.
Thankfully, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is thoroughly entertaining, heartwarming, and hilarious, far from a hollow franchise for Sony to retain the Spider-Man film rights for even longer. With a stellar creative and animation team behind it, Spider-Verse, which is streaming on Netflix, is more than just one of the best superhero films ever made—it was one of the best films of 2018, period.
While Peter Parker certainly has a presence in the film, part of what makes the only Oscar-winning movie on this list so entertaining and special is its focus on Miles Morales, the ultimate Spider-Man, and its message that anyone is worthy of being a hero.