>> Wednesday, February 17, 2010
These few days there's nothing much on TV other than the Winter Olympics and honestly it's not really that interesting to watch people skate around in circles like the human version of Nascar. So the other day the boyfriend and I went to rent a movie and we settled on an interesting animation called 9.
This movie came out last September and as I remembered, the trailer was a bit dark and the storyline ambiguous, that's part of the reason why I didn't rush to the theater for it. But like most animation, it aimed to please its target audience which usually are children, so it turns out not to be scary at all. Though the concept is a bit vague.
In a parallel universe, a scientist created a robot with an artificial intelligence that allows it to create machine weaponry. The robot was taken from the scientist prematurely and used for war, but then as expected it malfunctions and started to eliminate all humans. To save humanity, the scientist created little burlap puppets and imposed part of his own soul in them. As the final puppet came to life and the last bit of soul left the scientist's body, the journey of salvation begins.
The story expanded from an Oscar-nominated short film produced and written by animator Shane Acker. The short film was abstract, whimsical, concise and without any dialogue. The problem is, it is difficult to expand an abstract concept into a full-feature film and explain it in words. It opens up a whole can of worm; the world that can only exist in imagination have to be weighed down and linked up to a more realistic scenario and it didn't get anywhere.
While the animation is really well done, the story is a bit forced. The story started with only a small villain that's easily conquerable comparing to the upcoming feats. With a slight alteration, they could have lived in peace and never triggers anything else. The nine parts of the scientist's soul does not have distinguish traits to differentiate themselves from one another. Two of the dolls are twins, one is an autistic loner and one is a female dragoneer. I'm not too sure how it reflects the scientist's psyche. Other than that there are hocus pocus magic that doesn't quite fit the science/robot theme and the trigger for nature to revive is questionable too.
Personally I think the story could have altered a little bit and make the dolls programs of human traits that the malfunctioned "beast" can download and after they all sacrificed and uploaded to the beast. The beast will gain a "conscience" and start producing robots to reconstruct the world or even reconstruct the dolls for a happy ending, it'll be more plausible than magic, but I'm not the writer.
I still enjoyed it. Again the animation is flawless and beautiful, but the story reads like a misconceived video game. It would, however, be a lot more enjoyable if it were a video game. It is certainly something that the director can think about. B-