(CNN) — The stunning visual palette of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” soared in 2018, combining that eye-popping animation with an abiding love of the comics and plenty of goofy humor. Coming almost five years later, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” spins a much denser web, padding on about 40 minutes that make this exercise heavier and considerably less nimble.

While the movie remains a dazzling experience in terms of what the animation achieves, it indulges in what feels like sensory overload, seeking emotional heft in ways that slow down the action. The movie also falls victim, somewhat, to the blessings and curses associated with the multiverse, which offers infinite possibilities but also the occasional sense that there are so many permutations none of them matter all that much.

Given the first movie’s Oscar-winning success, the producers have taken the practical step of positioning this as a franchise that’s going to be around for a while. Yet that makes “Across the Spider-Verse” in some respects play like the protracted setup for what potentially promises to be another more satisfying sequel.

Although the focus is again on Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), this “Spider-Verse” gives near-equal time to Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), one of the other spider-folk that he encountered in his first foray into parallel universes. He’s clearly pining for her, while grappling with the challenges of juggling school, his suspicious parents (Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Velez) and sneaking off to do super-heroic deeds.

Miles’ arc begins innocently enough, as he comically battles a semi-inept, dimension-hopping villain known as the Spot (Jason Schwartzman) while rushing to make an appointment with a school counselor. The larger game, however, soon presents itself, as Gwen gets recruited by an elite squad of spider-folk who essentially police the multiverse, under the fierce leadership of a character voiced by Oscar Isaac.

Spider-Man (voiced by Shamiek Moore) in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

Assembled by trios of directors (Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson) and writers (David Callahan and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller), “Across the Spider-Verse” bombards the audience with a dizzying array of visual gags of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-one variety.

Again, that worked better in a more compact package, and there’s a more-is-less quality to the psychedelic assault, especially when contemplating the movie’s appeal to younger kids. The spider-people overall also aren’t as amusing as the original batch of alternate-universe eccentrics, and the same goes for the villain, lacking the menacing presence the Kingpin provided as a more grounded adversary.

Despite the interval between movies, and the fact “Spider-Man: No Way Home” explored similar themes, the creative team does cleverly bore into a fundamental part of the hero’s Marvel mythology, which is that his “great power” comes not only with responsibility, but also loss. “Being Spider-Man is a sacrifice,” Miles is told, which serves as the film’s emotional foundation.

There are moments when “Across the Spider-Verse” genuinely delivers on a storytelling level, and the sheer artistry is never less than impressive, if lacking in the same sense of discovery. Like its predecessor, this is one of those movies made to be watched again, though more in bits and pieces here than sitting through the whole thing, which perhaps best defines the gap between them.

Hope, as they say, springs eternal, and we haven’t seen the last of the Spider-Verse. Yet that doesn’t fully offset the spider-tingle that says this plus-sized version of “Spider-Man” sticks around longer than it should.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” premieres June 2 in US theaters. It’s rated PG.