Welcome to Awesome Definition and today we are going to do an Honest Movie review of 9 and explain its plot details. Overall this movie is now turning into something classic now and deserves a 4/5 for its dark and unique tone with some amazing CGI action and characters.
The film was released on the 9th of September 2009 and it was directed by Shane Acker knew who actually produced the original short film that this film is based off. The film was also produced by Tim Burton so you know this films going to have that typical dark quirky Burton feel to it. For something that looks like a typical CGI kids film this is actually pretty dark with creepy imagery, intense moments of action and of course a lot of death. The film takes itself very seriously and there are rare moments of lightheartedness and comedy.
You’ll see in the opening 10 minutes as to how the film plays more out like a horror movie than a kid’s movie, scenes of suspense coupled with classic jump scares.
The film is set in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic earth where there doesn’t appear to be any humans left only these weird little Ragdoll creatures. This technically referred to as Stitch Punks. The Ragdolls themselves don’t have names but rather go by numbers which they have written on their back. The characters range from 1 all the way up to 9 and the main character we follow is Number 9.
9 wakes up with virtually no memory of where he came from and has no idea of what’s going on with the world around him. He ventures into the city where he meets another Ragdoll who is Number 2, before the pair can get too acquainted though they are attacked by a robot, who Number 2 refers to as the Beast. Number 2 is taken away by the Beast and 9 passes out, shortly after when he awakes he finds himself in a shelter where the other Ragdolls have taken refuge.
For the rest of the story we follow the Ragdolls as they set out to rescue Number 2 as well as trying to avoid getting killed by the numerous number of robots that are after them. The plot starts out relatively simple but as the film goes on we get more exposition and things start to get a little more complex, as we get more mythical elements introduced to us. Such as the soul stealing with the talisman device and the origin story of the Ragdolls themselves.
Now we are not saying that all these different story elements were necessarily a bad thing but it did feel like they were trying to feed a lot of information to the audience that too a little quickly. This led to some pacing issues such as characters managing to cover large distances in a very short space of time.
Prime example being when 9 separates from the group to go seek the scientist’s workshop, he has to go find the source and then literally in the next cut he’s there (like wow that was quick). And then on the same merit when he’s got the information from the source he runs back to the others just as quick. But overall though the plot is decent and the mystical elements thrown in, did help build more of a mystery to the world they live in.
As we mentioned earlier we have a total of Nine Ragdoll characters that we follow throughout the film. Now originally we thought that the characters were very basic and might have a very one-dimensional personality trade, but to our surprise each Ragdoll has a charter that they symbolize. Number 9 is the courageous one, Number 8 is the tough guy, Number 7 is the rebellious one, Number 6 is the awkward one, Number 5 is the friendly nice guy, Number 4 and 3 are the knowledgeable twins, Number 2 is clever and Number 1 is cowardly with a little bit of villainy as well.
But then later on in the film it is explained that the scientists split each of these characteristics into the dolls so they are meant to have that one distinct trait to them. One character that was truly interesting was number 1, as he does come across as the generic villain type at the start but as the film progresses we get to see that he does care about the other Ragdolls, but he just has a different mentality on how to protect them and as the story develops he does start to get a character arc.
Lets discuss a bit about the main lead Number 9. At the start of the film when were introduced to 9 who has no knowledge of the world he’s in. Personally we would have preferred, if 9 had stayed mute for the entire film or at the very least been given very limited dialogue. Having him mute would have made him feel much more relatable to the audience as he is introduced to this world along with us and has to closely observe the things around him.
Whereas the other Ragdolls represent an emotion, Number 9 could have represented action as he was the last Ragdoll to be created by the scientist before dying. It would be like how the scientist finally took action to stop the monster he created and 9 could represent that. Also making him the perfect opposite to Number 1 who is a very good speaker but at his core is a coward. However the moment 9 got his normal voice he kind of just went from this interesting character to this very generic character.
However what this film does do well is achieving the apocalyptic fill with its color palette. There is practically no use of bright colors in this film giving the world around them a very bleak and lifeless feel to it. The only time we do get color is when the bright green mystical elements come into play which offers a nice contrast and as for the music though being a typical orchestra it plays its part well adding to the dreary and hollow like fill of the world.
Final thoughts on 9, well the pacing could be inconsistent at times and that some of the characters could have been improved. Overall it’s a good film and the fact that it tried to do something different from most other animated films out there, it definitely has a much darker tone to it even when there are lighter moments. We do get some pretty intense scenes, with lots of creepy imagery and the film isn’t afraid to show death and in the final scene you really are left with a bittersweet feeling. It will offer a more unique view and experience than a typical CGI film with some great visuals and sequences.