Confused about his existence, a rag doll named 9 awakens in a post-apocalyptic world, unaware of how he got there and what he is. Stumbling to his feet, he ventures outside to find some semblance of life. He eventually finds another rag doll like him, named 2. After revealing a special disk from his zipper pocket, 2 gets excited that 9 has found the artifact he had been looking to bring back to his civilization. Suddenly, they are attacked by a robotic beast, separating 2 from 9. After the survival attempt, 9 is carried back to the rag doll sanctuary and introduced to some of the other survivors, including 1 (the protector). Forbidden to go out to try to save 2, 9 and a couple others decide to break protocol anyway in hopes of finding their lost friend. When they venture out of the sanctuary, they encounter more than they bargained for, including finding new foes and old friends.
Starring: Christopher Plummer (1), Martin Landau (2), John C. Reilly (5), Crispin Glover (6), Jennifer Connelly (7), Fred Tatasciore (8/Radio Announcer), Elijah Wood (9), Alan Oppenheimer (Scientist), Tom Kane (Dictator), Helen Wilson (Newscaster)
This animated film had a bleak and terrifying environment, to which the actors had to project a matching tone. Wood was the standout character with his curiosity and tempered heroism. Commonly representing a sense of pushing the envelope helped him pop off of the screen. Plummer was the other truly engaging character, with his avoidant and stubborn personality. Connelly was able to project a younger sense of self and provided a more active pop to her character.
Shane Acker’s film had all of the elements of a Tim Burton movie, except for Burton, Depp, and Bonham Carter. The post-apolcalyptic world was one after humanity, but somehow a scientist’s experiments were successful in projecting life into rag doll creatures to match up against the robotic enemies. 1 had been able to gather some of the survivors togethers to take refuge in secret away from the creatures, but some of the others were interested in searching for answers and ways to fight back. 9 changed the game with his arrival due to his curiosity and willingness to take risks for the sake of his peers. While 1 challenged him from start to finish, 9 continued to press on and find a way to make their existence and future better.
The film certainly created the death and destruction look very well, but it may have been a little too much. The characters were all personality characteristics of the scientist, which game them human-like elements, but they were hard to connect with. Each of them were a little too strong in their given area. 1’s protection was overly restrictive. 2’s inspiration led him into trouble. 6’s leadership was overshadowed by 1 and seemed to just put him in danger. 7’s defensive personality put her into action to protect the others but without the direction or leadership to think beyond the moment. Even 9 as the savior struggled a bit to find himself but also adapted to life a little too quickly. The imbalance of the characters both helped and stifled the success of this film. The bleak atmosphere and late setup also prevented this one from being noticed more when it was originally released.
While the film may have its struggles, 9 was still an entertaining and creative film that deserves consideration.
Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5