This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.
Season 5 of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir has just ended, but that’s not the last you will get to see of Ladybug or Cat Noir any time soon. Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie is releasing in just under a week on Netflix. The Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir show follows the story of two Parisian teenagers, Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste, who transform into the superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir to protect the city from supervillains.
The movie follows a very similar plot line to the show, as it’s not an original storyline or a continuation but a retelling of the five seasons. Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie follows ordinary teenager Marinette, whose life in Paris goes superhuman when she becomes Ladybug. Bestowed with magical powers of creation, Ladybug must unite with her opposite, Cat Noir, to save Paris as a new villain unleashes chaos unto the city.
Firstly, I am not an avid fan of Miraculous and I probably haven’t seen more than ten episodes of the overall series. I couldn’t tell you the overarching plot line of the show. I am here to give you a review from the viewpoint of someone who barely knows anything about Miraculous and to give you a varied opinion on this movie. By the end of this review, you’ll know if I think this film is perfect for newcomers or not.
Surprisingly, Miraculous ended up not just being any ordinary film but a musical. As a big fan of musicals, I think they can make any film, show, or theatre production better if done right. The first few songs were actually pretty great. One of my favorites was quite early on: “You Are Ladybug” performed by Marinette and Tikki in the film and sung by Lou and Mela Lee.
Unfortunately, the musical aspect of the film starts to get tiresome as it starts to feel like it takes up most of the film. A song would interrupt what would seem like a vital moment for the story and it would get completely interrupted and ruin the scene. It started to drown out the story for me, and I began losing interest around the last 30 minutes of the film. Even though the musical aspect ended up being a major letdown for the film, the actual score of the film was beautiful and made certain scenes in the film stand out more.
Talking about standing out more, Miraculous saw a boost in animation with this film compared to the show. It is clear that the show doesn’t have a high budget and doesn’t have the best animation. In most cases, when a TV show gets a film, the budget increases and the animation significantly improves in quality. The standard of the animation stays the same throughout the film and doesn’t drop or have any weird-looking frames. The characters looked very expressive, which always helps keep you engaged with the characters in an animated movie and adds a level of realism to them.
The movie felt incredibly rushed, it was clear that five seasons worth of material and development were crammed into this one film. I found it hilarious in a bad way that Ladybug and Cat Noir instantly knew how to use their powers; the relationship bonding was very quick. They didn’t give us enough time to actually connect with these characters and just threw us into this world.
For newcomers, that’s a bit too much and we need a little more time to feel what these characters are feeling. For fans of the show, this could either be annoying, as it’s basically just a bad recap movie, or it could be perfectly fine for them because they already know these characters. Due to the film feeling rushed, I sometimes forgot there was a greater villain at play. When I was drawn back into the villain’s story and motives, it was actually interesting. Honestly, I wish there was just more time devoted to exploring these characters.
Overall, Miraculous: Ladybird & Cat Noir, The Movie was a delightful, goofy, sweet and cheesy romantic comedy for me. Despite the movie’s limitations, I was still able to become interested in the Miraculous universe as a beginner to it. The film doesn’t touch much on their friends or school life, and I’d love to see more of that. I’d love to see the villain in addition to Ladybug and Cat Noir’s relationship develop over time. The movie does its job of being able to grab my attention and have me wanting more of the full story, and the show is the perfect way I can get all of this.
Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie premieres on Netflix on July 28.