9

Focus Features with Relativity Media

Written & Directed by Shane Acker/Produced by Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov, Jim Lemley, & Dana Ginsburg/Music by Deborah Lurie

When he first looks out on the world through his man-made eyes, 9 awakens (or perhaps one might more aptly say, is born) into a world very different from our own. Man has finally been overtaken by the machines he has made, and a tiny band of burlap-and-clockwork homunculi are all that remains of the spirit of man. Only, when 9 arrives on the scene, the last of the tiny karakuri to awake, he finds the others tremulous in fear of the monster-machines roaming the devastated world. Right from the start, his ideas are antithetical to the current leader’s, and 9 is faced with the challenge of pulling the others together to fight back . . . if he can even be sure that’s the right course of action.

I found 9 to be a strangely interesting movie. It’s strange and dark and somewhat satirical, yet also ethereal and darkly beautiful at times. There’s an extent to which the characters are somewhat stereotypical–types of a sort–but I get the impression they’re meant to be so. 9 himself gives out something of an “everyman” sort of vibe, but one you can respect as well. I really love the twins (eccentrics who keep the library and never actually speak). The animation is solid CG, again, attractive but very dark–like a super-depressing version of WALL-E, or something. I don’t think I’d recommend 9 for everyone (certainly not for younger audiences; it’s very appropriately PG-13 just for the scariness), but for those interested in a dark, frightening, and quirky animated movie, you might find it interesting.

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