Are you ready to face your nightmares in Shane Acker’s stunning feature length post-apocalyptic animated nightmare produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov and starring Elijah Wood? Well get ready, because it’s finally 9-9-09, which means that 9 is in theaters now!

The Players:

The Plot:

The film is about 9 puppet like creators in a post-apocalyptic world who have to fight against the machines for survival. That is until 9 comes along with his fearless inquisitiveness and stirs up trouble and possible answers.

The Good:

  • The Visuals: Absolutely stunning. You can see why Acker was picked out by Burton and Bekmambetov to make this film. From the overall architecture and lighting, to the tiny little details of the threading and the sound of the blinking eyes, you could pause  the film at any moment and it would be a piece of art.
  • The Tone: It’s refreshing to see how dark they went with the film. For a movie with puppets running around, it actually had a few scary moments. Knowing that it was an animation I thought that they pull back, but from gore to getting high, it’s got it all.
  • The Themes: We have TONS of end of the world films, but none of them touch on as many subjects as this one does and in as clever of a way. Maybe because we’re dealing with puppets instead of humans it allows us to look at ourselves deeper, but no mater what, the film brings up a number of poignant issues without hammering us over the head with them.
  • The Inspiration: Finally, something new to be excited about! The most important part about this film and why you should go and see it, is because it’s original and inspired. It’s not without it’s flaws but in the world of remakes the original idea is king!

The Bad:

  • Runtime: Yes, animations are SUPPOSED to be 72 minutes, but so much of this film defies what a film is SUPPOSED to be, so why decide to follow the rules with the runtime? I appreciate how hard it is to make this film and that every little tiny thing had to be created by hand, but in the end, I wanted more. I needed more to fully support the story I was being given. With so many amazing characters, beautiful backgrounds, and such detailed animation, I wanted to see more from the characters and a bit less action. In order to feel invested in the actions scenes, there needed to be more back stories and more time spent on the arches of each of the main characters.
  • Too Many Unexplained Objects: Although it’s great that not everything is spelled out for you and many of the characters in the film don’t know what’s going on, do it makes sense that not much is explained, but when they reached their revelation, I was still left a bit confused. There needed to be more explanation either through character arches, more flashbacks or something.


My biggest problem with this film is that it could have very easily been one of my favorites of the year. I loved so many parts of it, the tone, the characters, the action, but it needed more time to develop. I know that Acker spent 10 years creating the film, but perhaps if he had not been so rushed (like he told us in our interview with him) towards the end, he could have brought his dream to true fruitition.

Rating: 7.3

Go see 9 in theaters on 9-9-09!

Further Reading:

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