Behind the simple title 9 or Nine, hides a visually refreshing animated movie featuring a rather dark post-apocalyptic setting. The story is taking place in an alternate reality resembling our 1940s. So, you can say that WWI and WWII did not go too well for us. We will be following a rag doll who just realizes it’s alive and that the world is pretty much shit. The town is in ruins and there’s nobody around. What follows is an obligatory quest for answers. I really liked the animation style in the movie 9. The CGI is just the right amount simplified allowing for some pretty stunning backdrops.
And the characters themselves are also interesting. There’s something so visceral and even macabre about them. I mean, our main character has a giant undone zipper across his torso. Taking all of these elements into consideration, it’s not surprising that this is actually a Tim Burton production. However, the driving force behind 9 is Shane Acker, whose short film of the same name almost won an Academy Award a couple of years prior. With all of this being said, I have to say that I expected a much darker movie.
Something more complex and thought-provoking. I mean, it’s the post-apocalyptic setting after all. However, maybe this is a good thing because now you can watch the movie 9 or Nine (which came out in 2009), casually without much effort. It offers a refreshing break from the other animated movies where something is always happening. Here, during the opening ten minutes, no one says a word. And they do not need to because you can clearly see what’s going on. What’s that old filmmaking saying: show, don’t tell? There’s also a lot of action here with robots trying to catch our heroes every ten minutes.
After he opened his eyes, what Nine saw frightened him. He was alone in a crumbling city with no one around him. Nine slowly started walking down the empty streets and after some time finally ran into someone. A living rag doll who told him that the world is a dangerous place. Place that’s this way because a brilliant scientist following orders of a mad dictator created a robot that almost wiped out the whole world. So now a battle rages on and Nine appears to be the one who could tip the balance.
Some of the action scenes in the movie looked awfully similar to the ones in Terminator Salvation, the latest addition to the Terminator franchise. Although I also sense a strong War of the Worlds vibe in these scenes. Other than that, you could say that 9 is a movie that feels like it’s been made in the Soviet Union. I’m talking about the color palette, the way the camera moves, and the design of our protagonists. Plus, the setting is rather bleak as they drew inspiration from post-WWII Vienna. As you can already guess, the cast did a terrific job.
I especially enjoyed Christopher Plummer`s voice but I’m not so sure about Elijah Wood. I mean, was great but he was already a main character in a movie where he has a mission that could save the world. The title eludes but I’m sure you know what movie I’m talking about. Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies, I suggest Coraline.
Director: Shane Acker
Writers: Pamela Pettler, Shane Acker, Ben Gluck
Cast: Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Elijah Wood
Fun Facts: The release date for the movie 9 AKA Nine was 09/09/09.