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2009 computer animated film directed by Shane Acker and produced by Tim Burton.

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And Then There Was 9

  • Sep 21, 2009
  • by

Title: 9
Director: Shane Acker
Staring: Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, Fred Tatasciore
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Studio: Focus Features
Genre(s): Action



    (For violence and scary images)  

Buy From Amazon.com: Soundtrack / Soundtrack (MP3)


We’ve had a very good year for animation. Pixar wowed us again with their brilliance, Miyazaki reminded us what it was to have the heart of a child, and “Coraline” was an acid trip into Henry Sellicks mind (someplace you don’t always want to be). Now we have “9,” a post-apocalyptic cartoon that is meant for adults. And when I say adults I truly mean it. Appropriately rated PG-13, the movie is a full length adaptation of a short film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short. The storyline revolves around a doll creature named 9, who comes alive one day to discover the world is in ruins and machines rule the land. He runs into other dolls who are numbered just like him.

These dolls all fill him in on what’s happened in the world. Some want to fight the machines while others want to hide. The original short was directed by Shane Acker who returns as director here. He is joined by producer Tim Burton who was impressed by the short and - more importantly - is the only man in Hollywood with the power to help sell a movie like this. Truly I’m impressed the film got made at all. It’s a dark movie that is not made for kids, it’s something that does not look cute, and these movies are difficult to sell. Even “Titan A.E.” failed to deliver at the box office and that movie WAS suitable for family audiences! Will the teens and adults pay to see this?

Who knows. I’m certain Focus Features has similar concerns. Why else would they hire Christopher Plummer (1), Martin Laundau (2), John C. Riley (5), Crispin Glover (6), Jennifer Connelly (7), Fred Tatasciore (8), and Elijah Wood (9) for reasons other then that they can at least sell the actors (by the way: 3 & 4 are silent characters). In fact, the movie might have been more interesting if the characters had been silent (with the exception of the doctor, who has to deliver the obligitory “what the heck happened to Earth” speech). Visually this film delivers on every conceivable level. The world is creative and very bleak. We’ve certainly never seen American animation create a world this hostile before.

That’s also where the praise is going to end though because the story is pretty thin and the characters unrelateable. Considering all the bad things happen as a result of the protagonist being an idiot, it’s amazing the film didn’t get on my nerves sooner. If all this movie had was the script I’d have tossed it before the second act. Thanks to the visuals I was fairly engaged throughout the film. Still...that’s not really a recommendation. Was I ever bored? No, but then, it also didn’t really leave much of a past-the-parking lot experience for me either.

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More 9 reviews
review by . September 12, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
         Based on the award-winning short film by Shane Acker, the CGI-animated full-length feature film “9” intends to expand on its myth and story. Acker himself takes the helm as director in this film co-produced by Tim Burton along with Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted). When I first saw the trailer for “9”, I was blown away. I tempered my expectations when I went into the theater and did watch the film with an open mind. The film is a visually …
review by . July 21, 2011
Essentially a feature-length expansion of the impressive short film that director Shane Acker created as a student project at UCLA, this CG cartoon is considerably better than its mild stateside reception might suggest. What it lacks in story and character development, 9 compensates for with an ingenious production design, extraordinary graphics and an endearing sincerity.      Set in a war-ravaged landscape devoid of organic life and inhabited by nine sentient, action figure-sized …
review by . March 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
 9 is a post-apocalyptic film where the human race was entirely destroyed by stronger, and more intelligent machines that completely blew to pieces any army the world could come up with. But just before his death a scientist tries to keep the world going, so he creates nine rag dolls that come alive, and can talk. #1 (Christopher Plummer) is the obvious leader of the group, and knowing that they have no chance at defeating the great machine monters he insists on hiding until the one day that …
review by . November 06, 2009
I heard about "9" like most people did, sitting a dark movie theater waiting for my movie to play. And as I was waiting a quaint and dark little trailer started to roll it showed a bombed out city and as I watched I became more and more intrigued at the premise of the film and the dark, Gothic style it infused with the brilliant and breathtaking animation. But I didn't see it it until about a month later and now I'm regretting not having seen it while it was in theaters, Shane Acker and …
review by . September 15, 2009
Not sure whether this is about the world of the future, or the world of another dimension.  Could be either.  Human beings have been wiped out by evil machines.  The only life left are numbered "rag dolls", basically another form of machine.  9 comes to life, and meets the other "rag dolls", who cower in fear of the beast.  I don't want to give the entire plot away, but the rag dolls learn much that is human from the various difficulties that 9 causes …
review by . July 15, 2010
As a Tim Burton fan, I had high hopes for this adaptation of the short "9."  The style of animation and character design was intriguing, the marketing was exciting, and there was a good cast of well-known actors. Sadly, there isn't enough material for me to consider this a successful film.  There seems to be a clear lack of dialogue in the script, which could have made for a more compelling plot, but instead we are left with many of the characters just staring …
review by . November 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
With an award winning, Oscar nominated animator at its helm and the names of Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov attached, this movie was always going to have a lot of expectation surrounding it. Sadly, I felt it didn't quite live up to its potential. Although, that's not to say the film is a total letdown. Quite the opposite in fact. There's much to admire and enjoy here.      The design and animation work is extremely impressive; some of the best I've seen in any animated movie.  …
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A good allegory of the many facets of are humanity and how important they all are.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's a shame that 9 didn't get the hype it deserved for the way it makes you think. The short run-time might be a hint as to why.
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
This film is not well known in the animated world, but everyone should give it a try. Its dark and edgy and just keeps you up throughout the whole sequence.
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #127
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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About this movie


9 is a 2009 computer-animated science fantasy thriller film directed by Shane Acker and produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov. The film starsElijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer It is based on Acker's Academy Award-nominated 2005 short film of the same name. The screenplay for the film was written by Pamela Pettler, with casting by Mindy Marin, production design by Robert St. Pierre and Fred Warter, and art direction by Christophe Vacher.

Nine small rag dolls, stitched together from burlap and clock workings and lenses, are all that stands in the way of the world being overtaken by the Machines. Actually, as9begins, it looks like the Machines have already had their way with Earth: this is one of those post-apocalyptic landscapes without life, hope, or sunlight. Clearly9director Shane Acker is willing to make an animated film that doesn't soar with Disney colors or Pixar cheer--in fact, main characters are killed off before the movie's halfway through. Our hero is 9 (voiced by Elijah Wood), so dubbed for the number on his back; after awakening to very confused consciousness, he bumps into other puppet survivors, such as the imperious 1 (Christopher Plummer), the warrior-like 7 (Jennifer Connelly), and the one-eyed comic sidekick 5 (John C. Reilly). They do battle with the Machines in...
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Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: September 9, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 19min
Studio: Universal Studios, Focus Features
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