"Summit of the Gods" Review Summary: Climbing Drama Scale Dizzy Heights

The Summit of the Gods, Netflix's biggest indie animated feature pick-up of the year, is out now in select theaters - where its sweeping Himalayan vistas belong, according to at least one critic. The film comes to the streaming platform on November 30.

Part detective story, part action movie, part existential drama, The Summit of the Gods focuses on a legendary Japanese climber and a photo journalist who grows obsessed with his exploits. A narrative device links their adventures to those of George Mallory, the real-life British mountaineer who died on Everest in 1924.

The film is directed by Patrick Imbert (The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales) and based on the epic manga series of the same name by writer Baku Yumemakura and illustrator Jiro Taniguchi. Imbert wrote the screenplay with Jean-Charles Ostorero and Magali Pouzol.

Ostorero also produced alongside Didier Brunner, Damien Brunner, and Stephan Roelants. Thibaut Ruby executive-produced. The film, a co-production between France and Luxembourg, was produced by Julianne Films, Folivari (Pachamama), and Mélusine Productions (Wolfwalkers).

Critics like The Summit of the Gods, which has a 100% Tomatometer score (admittedly based on relatively few reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing. Here's what they're saying:

Tracy Brown suggests in the Los Angeles Times that animation is better suited to the story than live action would have been:

Lovia Gyarkye also praises the art direction in The Hollywood Reporter, adding that the film should be seen in theaters:

Carlos Aguilar is taken by the film's dramatic staging, writing in The Wrap of the mountain-climbing sequences:

For Michael Nordine of Variety, the suspense doesn't come at the expense of lyricism:

Awarding the film three stars out of four, RogerEbert.com's Glenn Kenny admits surprise at what the film achieves through animation: