Miles Morales Fights Anxiety in THE SPIDER WITHIN: A SPIDER-VERSE STORY Short Film

We are patiently waiting for Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse to make its way to theaters. The conclusion of the previous film left us in one hell of a lurch with Miles stuck in the wrong universe and Gwen rounding up a crew to go save him. We still don’t have a date for that yet, but we do have something great to tide us over. The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story is an official short film that shows Miles grappling with anxiety and the pressures of being a teenager—which is hard, tbh—alongside his role as Brooklyn’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. This Spider-Verse short will tug at the heartstrings and also make you want to donate to a good cause. 

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story short clocks in at just over five minutes, but it indeed shows us an important part of Miles Morales’ journey. The Spider Within appears to take place before the events of Across the Spider-Verse. We see Miles walking home with a million thoughts racing through his mind. Not only does he have school work on his mind, he’s also grappling with the pressures of meeting his parents’ expectations. Oh, and let’s not forget that he is literally Spider-Man. There’s a lot of anxiety and unsavory moments that come with that title.

After briefly talking to his dad in the Spider-Verse short, Miles retreats to his room. He tries to listen to music, but it doesn’t help ease his thoughts. He confronts a yellow-eyed and shadowy version of himself, which becomes bigger and more frightening as he tries to fight it. Poor Miles goes through a scary bit where he feels like spiders are consuming him before he comes back to a stasis point. He decides to confide in his father, admitting that there’s a lot on his mind. It’s a nice conclusion for The Spider Within.

Miles Morales is covered in spiders in spider-verse short film about mental health and anxiety
Sony Pictures Animation

This Spider-Verse short film tackles mental health in a way that is both in line with this fantasy world but also extremely relatable to many of us. And, it is meant to support a good cause. Sony Pictures Animation teamed up with the Kevin Love Fund and its “The Hero Within” initiative for The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story. The Kevin Love Fun was established by NBA player Kevin Love after he revealed his own mental health challenges to the world. Here’s a quick description of the organization:

Kevin established the Kevin Love Fund (KLF) to inspire people to live their healthiest lives while providing tools for both mental and physical health. Through a unique combination of education, research, grantmaking, and advocacy, KLF is breaking the stigma around mental health and ensuring people who are suffering have the support needed to thrive.

The Spider-Verse short film will be incorporated into the latter organization’s new mental health-focused lesson plan, called “The Hero Within.” This lesson plan “invites students to tell their own story through the lens of mental health awareness via an interactive curriculum including a creative storyboard activity.”

To learn more about the Kevin Love Fund’s initiatives and programs, visit its website. And if you need to reach out for a conversation or seek professional help, don’t hesitate to do so. We are all experiencing something, whether we are superheroes or ordinary people.

If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the  National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264).

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