a 2009 American computer-animated satirical post-apocalyptic science fiction film, which was directed by Shane Acker and produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov. The film stars the voice talents of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly,Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, and Fred Tatasciore. It is based on Acker’s Academy Award-nominated 2005 short film of the same name. The film was released on September 9, 2009, and it was distributed by Focus Features.
The screenplay for the film was written by Pamela Pettler, with casting by Mindy Marin, production design by Robert St. Pierre and Fred Warter, and art direction by Christophe Vacher.
Why was it forgotten?: IT’S TOO MUCH OF AN ART FILM
This is a movie I’ve wanted to feature for a long while but could just never find the right context to do so. It’s not as though it’s a bad movie. It has phenomenal visuals that are an absolute sight to behold. It has some decent set pieces, action, characters that serve express purposes to the plot, and a consistently dark tone to its story that surprisingly isn’t overbearing. Neither is the movie’s message about how the fast paced advancement of technology and man’s misuse of it can lead to destruction.
It’s a solid movie, and it’s not as if audiences didn’t agree at the time. It made a profit at the box office, a marginal one of roughly 62% but still a profit none-the-less. Critics praised it as well, mostly for the visuals but detracted points because of some rather amateur voice work.
That’s another sign that there’s a distinct difference in quality between regular actors and voice actors and regular actors won’t necessarily enhance your animated film.
So what the heck happened, why doesn’t anybody talk about this anymore? I mean, it was supposed to be a big deal when it came out— and it wasn’t really. It was just kind of a flash in the pan that came and went.
My guess is while it is good, and a must-see for anyone who loves animation, this is one of those movies that’s more art than entertainment.
Know what I mean?
You see it once and you can discuss the prevalent themes in the movie, how those themes are portrayed, and what the movie means as a piece of art in our society and animated movie culture. Then afterword you don’t really have much to say. It’s not because the movie doesn’t have anything else to talk about. It’s just that it wears all of its subtext and interesting aspects on its sleeves so you get what you get.
- Shortly before the film’s release, SkyZone released a mobile game adaptation entitled 9: The Mobile Game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The plot is similar to the movie’s plot, with minor differences. It received mixed reviews.
- The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 29, 2009, just three-and-a-half months after the film’s theatrical release. The DVD and Blu-ray contained special features such as the director Shane Acker’s original 2005 short film of the same name, cast interviews, and commentary by the filmmakers.
- Currently no plans for a sequel have been made, but possibilities have been mentioned via the film’s DVD commentary. Shane Acker has also mentioned the possibility of a sequel being made because of the lack of darker animated films, claiming that everything is G and PG rated with little to no dark elements. He has said that he will continue to make darker animated films, either doing so with a sequel to 9 or original ideas for future films.
- the film premiered on the 10th anniversary of the Sega Dreamcast (not relevant, I just wanted to sneak that in)
I remember seeing this movie in theaters as a trip with a Creative Writing class I took in college.
It was a lot of fun, I must say, and we had a lot to talk about with the movie. By a lot I mean we filled one whole class time with discussion but it was a lot of discussion, mostly about how films like this survive in today’s market.
It was interesting, to say the least