Release Date: September 9th, 2009
Click here for the 9 Trailer
When he awakens, 9(Elijah Wood), a small stitchpunk rag-doll, has no idea where he is or what is going on. He finds himself in a half destroyed home with a dead scientist on the floor and without the ability to speak. While looking around, 9 finds a strange talisman which he takes. 9 goes to the window and opens it to find the world before him completely destroyed and void of all life. Looking out on the wasteland before him 9 sees something moving down below, another stitchpunk dragging some old junk. 9 tries to call out but is unable to speak so he runs down to the ground to look for him. While down there 9 accidentally hits the other stitchpunk in the face with a bolt knocking him over. The other stitchpunk gets up and says its o.k. and that he is a friend.
The other stitchpunk introduces himself to be 2(Martin Landau) and tells 9 that there are others like him. 2 is an inventor and as such fixes 9's voicebox, allowing him to speak. While talking about what happened, a machine known as the Cat Beast bursts in and grabs 2 and the talisman and ribs 9's arm before running off towards a towering factory. 9 is found passed out by 5(John C. Riley), part of the remaining group of stitchpunks. 5 takes 9 and mends his torn arm. When 9 awakens he is approached by 1(Christopher Plummer), the self-proclaimed leader of the stitchpunks, and his bodyguard 8(Fred Tatasciore), a giant, mean brute stitchpunk that follows 1 without question. 1 questions 9 about where he came from and what happened. 9 tells him about 2 and insists on saving him but 1 refuses to jeopardize the safety of himself and the others. 1 forces 9 and 5 to go into the watch tower and stay on lookout. While in the tower, 9 sees the factory the Cat Beast took 2 to and tells 5 that they need to help him because that is what 2 would have done for them. 9 and 5 grab a map of the area and head off into the wasteland to find 2.
9 and 5 make their way to the factory and make it inside to find 5 locked in a cage. As the two go to save him, they notice the Cat Beast trying to insert the talisman into an object with a similar shaped socket. The Cat Beast sees 9 and 5 trying to save 2 and attacks them, throwing 2's cage around. The Cat Beast corners 9 and 5 and moves in for the kill when another anonymous stitchpunk swoops down and decapitates the machine. The anonymous stitchpunk removes her mask and is revealed by 2 and 5 to be 7(Jennifer Connelly). 7 has been away from the group for a long time, outcasting herself after 1 took leadership, being unable to deal with his rules and fear. While 2, 5 and 7 talk, 9 takes the talisman and puts it into the machine the Cat Beast was trying to. The machine awakens and is revealed to be a large fabrication device which attempts to kill 9 but 2 pushes him out of the way. The machine grabs 2 and uses the talisman to steal 2's soul and seal it away, leaving 2 lifeless. The machine continues to attack while 5, 7 and 9 flee.
9 wants answers on the machine and the talisman so 7 takes him and 5 to an old library where she has been hiding out with two more stitchpunks, the twins 3 and 4. 3 and 4 are unable to speak but talk to each other flashing their eyes like Morse code. If they need to talk to someone else, they turn their eyes into projectors and play something. 3 and 4 play a movie for 9 detailing that the dead scientist created a super B.R.A.I.N which was seized by the government and used to make robots for peace. The robots then turned on humanity, killing every living person. 9 asks 3 and 4 about the talisman which they know nothing about. 5 then realizes that the markings on the talisman are the same ones 6(Crispin Glover) are always drawing and that he might have answers. 6 tells the group that they must return to the source. When 9 asks what that means he is interrupted by 1 who berates him on waking the fabrication machine and how he is going to bring more trouble to them.
While discussing what to do, a winged machine, created by the fabrication machine, attacks the hideout. The beast almost kills 1 and 8 but eventually is brought down, but not before the hideout is burned to the ground forcing the stitchpunks to relocate. While looking for a new hideout, the group is attacked by the Seamstress, a hybrid of machine parts and 2's lifeless body. The Seamstress kidnaps 7 and 8 and takes them back to the factory. After this, 1 is convinced by the others to strike back against the machines. While at the factory, 9 infiltrates it to save 7 and 8 while 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 put a barrel of gas at the doorway as a trap. The fabrication machine steals 8's soul but 9 is able to rescue 7. 9 and 7 are also able to destroy the Seamstress and as they are escaping, the others light the barrel of cas and push it down a ramp into the factory which explodes.
Thinking thy have destroyed the fabrication machine the group begins to celebrate until the machine comes out of the debris and attacks them yet again. As the machine attacks it steals 5's soul and chases the others over a bridge which collapses and traps the machine temporarily. 6 tells that group that they can not destroy it because the souls of the others are still trapped inside before the machine steals his soul as well. Despite his warnings, 1, 3, 4 and 7 decide that they should still destroy the machine. 9 heeds 6's advice and returns to the house he awoke in believing it to be "the source". While there 9 finds a box in the hands of the dead scientist which has 9's name on it. 9 opens it and a holographic projection of the scientist appears revealing to 9 that each stitchpunk is a different piece of his sole and that he created them in hopes of preserving humanity's legacy. He tells 9 that the fabrication machine can be destroyed by pushing a certain sequence on the talisman and 9 sets off to end it all.
9 intends to bait himself so the others can get the talisman but 1 intervenes and sacrifices himself. While the machine is taking 1's soul, 9 takes the talisman and uses the sequence to free the soles and destroy the machine. 9, 7, 3 and 4 set up a burial and memorial for 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8. 9 opens the talisman and releases the souls which scatter into the sky bringing life back into the world.
I was really looking forward to this movie from the first time I saw a preview. It looked like nothing I had ever seen before and appeared to be a fantastic movie. First of all, the animation in this film was spectacular. Probably the best looking animated movie to date. The sound effects were also incredible. Good sound effects in an animated movie really help put you in the film and gives you a greater sense of realism and 9 had amazing sound.
The voice acting was also very well done. The cast was filled with top notch actors who all did a great job bringing their respective character to life. Each individual actor is as different to each other as their stitchpunk counterparts are. Good voice acting is also another key in great animated films. But there are some let downs with this movie.
In any movie, animated or not, plot is a big deal. The plot is one of the key factors that decides whether your movie will succeed or fail. In 9 the plot, sadly, was lacking. This movie is based on a short film, the ones you typically see before a movie at the drive-in, and may have been better served as a short film. The plot required a fair amount of thinking and wasn't represented clearly. The way things made sense came from two or three scenes that were made to just give you all the answers without you figuring them out on your own. I also felt that this movie was a bit incomplete. It just seemed like things are missing and that there is so much more that needed to be added.
This is 9's biggest flaw. The incomplete plot puts a downer on the film. However, the action sequences in 9 help to make this more than your typical cartoon. This movie gained a PG-13 rating which is rare for typical animated films these days. The action is intense and can sometimes be startling or even scary (for younger viewers). This is what sets 9 apart from other animated films, its more mature theme it has about it. The mature theme will bring in a more mature audience while the animated style will still bring in the younger crowds.
A great film with excellent voice acting, incredible animations and audio and intense action combined with an o.k. yet semi-incomplete story makes 9 an interesting film. This is definitely worth your time. If you like animated films or interesting concepts for movies or just something to pass the time, then go check out 9 because it is definitely something different. I give 9 8 World-Ending Machines That Completely Kill Everybody out of 10.
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