A new era in animated storytelling begins on 9.9.09. Visionary filmmakers Tim Burton (“The Corpse Bride,” “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”) and Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted,” “Nightwatch”) join forces to produce wunderkind director Shane Acker’s distinctively original and thrilling tale. “9” stars Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer and Crispin Glover and features the music of Danny Elfman. When “9” (“The Lord of the Ring’s” Elijah Wood) first comes to life, he finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world. All humans are gone, and it is only by chance that he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam the earth intent on their extinction. Despite being the neophyte of the group, 9 convinces the others that hiding will do them no good. They must take the offensive if they are to survive, and they must discover why the machines want to destroy them in the first place. As they’ll soon come to learn, the very future of civilization may depend on them.
This story takes place in a dreary, desolate world of a post-apocalyptic environment. The animation is fantastic but sepia overtones and dark colors prevail over bright colors. The dark environment mirrors the story to some extent. The characters in this movie are named after numbers, such as 9, who is the hero, voiced by Elijah Wood (Mr. Frodo himself), and number 1 (Christopher Plummer) as well as others. The voice talent includes Martin Landau, Crispin Glover, John C. Reilly and Jennifer Connelly. The apocalyptic mood includes a monstrous creature known as the beast which is hunting down the heroes.
As one character voices in the beginning, “Our blind pursuit of technology only sped us quicker to our doom.” The characters are likable in the story and there are plenty of machine made aliens for the little group of numbers to fight. There is more to these human-like creatures who carry around numbers on each of them than meets the eye but I won’t give the plot or ending away. One of the conflicts in the story involves number 1 urging the group to hide and 9 encouraging them to stand up to the evil monstrosities which they encounter.
There are noble characters including a few who sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Another nice moment in the film occurs when some of the human-like creatures discover an old record player and a long playing album. A few characters run on the disc to make it spin and as the phonograph needle hits the grooves we hear a complete rendition of Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow”. It was a nice touch in what is often a dark story which features a lot of fantasy-like violence. The machines strike the human-like creatures and chases them and fires on them like a machine gun. Still, there is no blood seen and once again the violence is set in a fantastic world of different kinds of characters. We believe the movie is entertaining and includes some great themes such as unity and fighting for a good cause. Therefore, we happily award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages twelve plus.