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Netflix Released A Must-Watch, Oscar-Nominated Animated Movie For Free On YouTube

For anyone who likes to watch every Oscar-nominated movie before the big ceremony, the quest just got a little easier. For one week only, Netflix has uploaded the entirety of "Nimona" to YouTube. The adventure comedy — which is based on the "Nimona" graphic novel by ND Stevenson — is nominated for best animated feature at this year's Academy Awards, so this is the perfect chance to see one of the most underrated films of 2023 without spending a dime.

It's not like Netflix to release full movies to YouTube for free, even if it is for a limited time. "Nimona" co-director Troy Quane posted about the intriguing move to X (formerly known as Twitter): "Visibility matters. Inclusion matters. Diversity matters. Compassion matters. And that message matters enough that our friends @netflix are willing to share that for free. This is BIG." 

"Nimona" is a queer story, with the titular character, voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz, being genderfluid. There's also a gay relationship at the center of the story between Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed) and Ambrosius Goldenloin (Eugene Lee Yang). It's the kind of representation not often seen in media, especially in children's projects, but it's essential viewing that goes far beyond the usual lip service other studios tend to give queer representation. People who need to see this story can watch it without a subscription, and many are ecstatic at the news. This is exhibited by X user @SalMarra927, who wrote, "A friend of mine doesn't have Netflix, and he REALLY wanted to watch this film. He's REALLY excited that he FINALLY can."

People deserve to feel seen through media like Nimona

The plot of "Nimona" is fantastic as is, but the story of how it even came to Netflix really makes it remarkable. After Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, it shut down Blue Sky Studios, which was working on "Nimona" at the time. It seemed like the film would forever remain unfinished, but a hero would arrive in the form of Megan Ellison, founder of Annapurna Pictures.

Troy Quane shared an article from Screen Daily, sponsored by Netflix, about the importance of this movie and why it's essential to make it as readily accessible as possible. The piece contains a quote from Ellison, who's a lesbian and gender non-conformist, about what "Nimona" means to her. "I have never felt so seen or represented in a movie ... If I'd seen this film as a kid I would have hated myself less, I would have felt more seen. That's why I wanted to support this film — pain relief and joy," Ellison said. As a result, Annapurna was able to acquire "Nimona" from Disney, where it was eventually completed and released in June 2023. The film, where at one point it seemed like it would never see the light of day, came out and is now an Oscar nominee. 

Ellison concluded, "If stories can teach kids not to hate themselves, then by all means, let's tell them. You can't make someone gay. That's not a thing. The only potential 'cure' to queerness is to love us. Stop excluding us." Regardless of whether "Nimona" wins an Academy Award or not, hopefully, as many people as possible see it and take in its message of inclusivity and learning not to hate what's different.