Published on September 9th, 2009 | by simeon0
Excited to see what would come of a post apocalyptic animated film I entered “9” with high hopes yet murky expectations.
When a curious, small burlap toy/robot, marked only with the number 9 on its back, comes to life he discovers the haunting remains of human civilization. Curiously venturing out of the lab he was born in, 9 encounters a number of other creatures numbered 1 through 8. Our protagonist then leads this ragtag band of burlap creatures out into a battle against the remaining destructive forces that brought down mankind.
The cast is well chosen from Elijah Wood as the voice of heroic 9 to Christopher Plummer as the cautious creature 1. Martin Landau, Crispin Glover, and Jennifer Connelly provide some of the other notable voices in the film.
“9” explores the varied, and often destructive, nature of mankind through the lens of small almost defenseless creatures. It is a heartfelt film with characterization that is so exquisite it would be easy to overlook the graphic destruction explicitly illustrated throughout the film.
The movie is magnificently well illustrated and boldly tackles themes often overlooked by American animated films. The story does display the magic of childhood exploration ala “the Last Mimzy” yet it is a far darker film. Blatantly addressing mature themes like death and war, “9” is likely to appear offensive to traditional American animated film fans. Adding to these adult themes are frightening visual elements from monsters, one of which is a robotic snake-spider with the face of a baby doll, to eerie depictions of dead humans caught in the crossfire of misused technology.
An excellent mature film with a number of interesting and impassioned ideas,” 9” is an impressive tale, yet the adult themes and striking visuals are most suitable for mature audiences.