By Jack Rico
Rated: PG-13 for violence and scary images.
Release Date: 2009-09-09
Starring: Shane Acker, Pamela Pettler
Official Website: http://9themovie.com/splash/
‘9’ is an enjoyable, engrossing piece of cinema that will envelope you with its innovative animation, dark yet thought provoking storyline and compelling voice performances. Think of Wall-E meets Terminator Salvation. Its only flaw is that it lacks some depth, but it’s redeemed by the absorbing action sequences. Just WOW. With a slight running time of 80 minutes, ‘9’ does the trick for this post Labor Day weekend.
The film takes place in a world parallel to our own, in which the very legacy of humanity is threatened. A group of sapient rag dolls, living a post-apocalyptic existence find one of their own, 9 (Elijah Wood), who displays leadership qualities that may help them to survive.
The director is Shane Acker, who is making his feature debut. 9 is an expansion of his 2005 Oscar-nominated animated short of the same name. With Tim Burton and Tim Bekmambetov (Wanted) on board, getting A-list voice actors was not a problem. Of all the major stars – Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Martin Landau – only Christopher Plummer is immediately recognizable. The rest manage the critical component of effective anonymity, which can be important in an animated film lest the image of the actor overwhelm the character to which voice is being given.
For those looking for something different, new, mentally stimulating and a bit dark and sinister, ‘9’ offers all the Tim Burton traits without the hype.