Movie Review - 9

This is an animated movie by the unknown student Shane Acker.  He made this short film (originally 11 minutes) for his thesis project in grad school at UCLA. Tim Burton got involved, so you know it has to be good. The length of the film is rather short, at only just over an hour, but it is enough for Acker to tell his story. Someone told me it was just like Wall-E (a Disney movie), but this movie is absolutely not a children’s movie. The movie was originally just a very short and silent film, and it won an Academy Award in 2005. After that Tim Burton and some other Hollywood people got involved, and Acker got the chance to expand it into what it is now.

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The only thing it has in common with Wall-E is that humankind has destroyed the world, and left nothing but garbage and dust. Lately more and more apocalyptic movies are popping up everywhere. Even though the genre is as old as time, it seems to be very popular in our time of global warming and climate changes. In this movie, technology is the factor that leads to the destruction of everything and everyone.

One day 9, a little rag doll, wakes up in this world. He is sets out to explore it, and runs into 2. But when 2 gets taken by a machine that looks like a cat, 9 realizes this world is not safe. He finds some more dolls, and together they set out to safe 2. But then 9 accidentally wakes up ‘The Machine’ and a war between the dolls and the Machine starts.

The animation is great. The fabric the dolls are made of is amazing and so detailed. The dolls inspire a feeling of warmth and you want to reach out and protect them. But throughout the movie they show you they can be tough as well. The dolls are simple, but the creators are able to put a lot of expression and emotion into their faces. The surroundings and the worlds the puppets live in is very well thought out, and spectacular. I kept being amazed by the quality of the animation all through the movie, very original and resourceful. The voice of 9 was done by Elijah Woods. The other rag dolls had the voices of Jennifer Connolly, John C. Reilly, Christopher Plummer, Martin landau, Fred Tatasciore, and Crispin Glover.

The story is very dark, and casualties are made within the first few minutes of the film. This is really not a film for children, as it is dark and scary, not light and cheery at all. A few of the more tragic scenes brought tears to my eyes. The ending was a bit strange, and a bit too much in contrast with the rest of the story for me. But still good. This is an absolute gem, a little masterpiece that you have to see!

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