A summer news lull is the perfect time to talk 'Nimona'

The summer lull hits Popculturology. But you should still watch 'Nimona.' PLUS: Wolverine gets a classic look for 'Deadpool 3,' and Joaquin Phoenix conquers the 'Napoleon' trailer.

A summer news lull is the perfect time to talk 'Nimona'
Ballister Boldheart and Nimona in Nimona. / Netflix

Hello, Popculturology readers. Today’s edition is going to be brisk. Turns out one of the problems with trying to write a twice-weekly newsletter during the months of July (and I’m assuming August) is that there sometimes isn’t much going on.

The news takes a vacation, I guess.

I’m not on vacation this week, though, so let’s see what we can chat about today …

Always gotta mention that you can become a paid subscriber to Popculturology too. For $5 a month or $50 a year, this subscription brings you the two weekly editions of the newsletter plus Deep SNL Thoughts and The Box Office Report.

I love writing this newsletter, and if you’re interested in becoming a supporting subscriber, please consider upgrading your subscription.

And regardless of your subscriber level, I appreciate you reading Popculturology.

In Today's Edition
  • Feature Presentation: How Nimona lived on
  • The News: Wolverine’s Deadpool 3 look
  • Trailer Watch: Napoleon, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
  • Odds and Ends: Ken’s Barbie ballad

Feature Presentation
Ballister Boldheart and Nimona in Nimona. / Netflix

How Nimona lived on

We watched Nimona on Sunday night. I highly recommend you do the same. The animation stands apart from anything that Disney or Pixar or DreamWorks is doing. The story values inclusion and is quite progressive in a world of Globbies.

While Nimona was released on Netflix and produced by Annapurna Pictures, the film began its journey from graphic novel form at Blue Sky Studios. (Blue Sky was responsible for the Ice Age movies, the Rio movies and The Peanuts Movie.) When Walt Disney purchased 20th Century Fox, they didn’t have room for Blue Sky Studios in a crowded animation stable that already included Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Studios, which meant Blue Sky got shut down.

Nimona was shut down with the studio.

Annapurna and Netflix eventually swooped in, finished Nimona and released it to critical and audience acclaim.

How could Disney have bailed on Nimona? I asked after we finished the movie. This could’ve been a Toy Story-esque jolt to the company’s animation studio, both in style and substance. Were they just not interested in picking up another animation studio’s work? Were they worried about the queer stories being told in the movie?

Well, Paste Magazine’s Tara Bennett publishedNimona the Phoenix: The Miracle and Legacy of Blue Sky’s Last Production” on Monday. The in-depth look at the film’s path added a bunch of nuance to the story of Disney canceling Nimona that I had in my head.

And, unfortunately, Disney doesn’t come out looking too great when it comes to honoring the full story originally told in Nimona.

With the animation itself in good hands, [Robert Baird], [Nick Bruno] and [Troy Quane] says they turned their attention to story, fixing and smoothing out the overall narrative and going back in to re-emphasize the queer story points that were present in the graphic novel but softened under their Disney tenure.

With regards to that, Bruno says that since Disney inherited Nimona via their acquisition, it only understood after the dust settled what was getting made at Blue Sky. “We started putting together reels for them, and it was very clear that they were not aware that there was a gay relationship in the movie,” he says. “They were very open and honest with us about being a little worried about that because they had tried some things. They had mentioned Beauty and the Beast with [LeFou] and getting a lot of hate mail so there were nerves there.”

Not great, guys …

In the spirit of keeping things brief today, I’m going to encourage you to, one, watch Nimona, and two, read the Paste Magazine piece on the movie.

I love writing about pop culture, and I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter. Are you a subscriber yet? It’s the easiest way to make get Popculturology in your inbox. Become a paid subscriber to get every edition of Popculturology.

The News
Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman in Deadpool 3. / Marvel Studios

Wolverine debuts iconic look for Deadpool 3

At long last, Wolverine will rock the yellow-and-blue costume from the comics. Hugh Jackman has worn a lot of costumes as Wolverine since he first appeared as the character in 2000 — lots black leather and sleeveless shirts — but he’s never had the chance to wear the comic-accurate costumes that characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe wear all the time.

Ryan Reynolds revealed the first look at Jackman’s Wolverine costume for Deadpool 3 on Monday. (I’d link to it, but the high-definition version is on Twitter, and I’ve hit my rate limit over there. Wonderful site.)

There was a deleted scene from The Wolverine that teased a comic-accurate brown-and-yellow costume, but Logan didn’t follow up on that one.

Quick hits

  • Detective time for Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson. The duo will play detectives in Lips Like Sugar, according to Deadline. Harrelson loves playing a detective, huh?
  • Harley Quinn returns on July 27. The fantastic animated series is back for its fourth season in less than two weeks. If you haven’t been watching, now’s your chance to catch up.

Enjoy reading Popculturology? Share it!

Trailer Watch


I love this trailer. While I knew that Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix were working on a movie about Napoleon, I had no idea it was going to look this awesome. This one is going to be a huge Oscar contender.

Napoleon opens on Nov. 22.

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One

Calling this the “final trailer” for Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One is a bit of a stretch. It’s basically just a one-minute ad with praise for the film.

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One opens on Wednesday. But there are showings today and Tuesday …

💬 💬 💬 Comments, questions or recommendations? Let me know!

The Box Office Report

The Box Office Report is Popculturology’s look at the weekend box office. It’s another great add-on available to paid Popculturology subscribers.

Did you know that Popculturology is on Instagram?

The Links

Spread the news! Share Popculturology on social media.

Odds and Ends

Ryan Gosling’s Ken ballad

I don’t think I’m going to make it to theaters to see Barbie when it comes out in a few weekends, but Warner Bros. is doing their best to release a bunch of the film online before it opens. Here’s hoping BarbieGreta Gerwig, Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, this song — dominates awards season.

Journey to Ahoska

Still wild that we’re getting a live-action Ahsoka show that brings the Star Wars Rebels characters to life at the same time.

That’s the end of this issue of Popculturology. Thanks for reading. If you don’t already subscribe, please hit the “Subscribe now” button. Tapping the ♥️ at the bottom of each post also helps the newsletter.