a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, it’s official. The machines will kill us all. But at least it’s going to be fun to watch. I truly haven’t seen an animated movie like this in quite sometime. The visuals are mind blowing. You could get lost for hours in the details alone. The story is dark, and the action is intense, but most of all 9 reminds us that even an animated movie can entertain audiences of all ages.

The story of 9 takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, but not one of the future, like you would think, but rather an alternative future of the 1940’s. This was a really smart move on the filmmaker’s part. They could have easily made it all futuristic, but by limiting the technology available at the time (with some artistic license of course); they really give the film a unique look that just adds to its magic. But I digress. The story follows the journey of 9, a mechanical patchwork doll that awakens to find himself in a world seemingly void of life. He quickly discovers he’s not alone and stumbles upon the other eight patchwork dolls that came before him, and together they must face the reawakened doomsday machine that now threatens their very survival. The visuals in this film are outstanding! They really are. I can’t say it enough. Even though Tim Burton was only a producer on this project, his influence can clearly be seen throughout the film. Much like Neill Blomkamp’s District 9Shane Acher’s 9 also stems from an award winning short. It’s great that in this day and age, Hollywood can see the potential in these small shorts, and give the filmmakers a chance to tell their stories properly. It’s hard to believe that this is the same Hollywood that made G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

The voice talent in this film is fantastic, and not just big names for the sake of having big names either. Don’t get me wrong they are big names, but their voices are not only fitting for their characters, but they also work brilliantly as an ensemble, which is hard to pull off in an animated movie. Especially when the voice talent cast doesn’t get to meet each other till the night of the premiere in most cases. And what Tim Burton project would be complete without Danny Elfman? Well, Elfman many not have composed the full score, but he did compose the theme for 9. Which, I have to say is better than nothing. You know, just this past weekend, I was talking about how much Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas just blew me away, and changed the way I thought of animated movies. I’m glad to say that 9 will most likely raise the bar for animated films yet again.