9 : 3 of 5
9 is a rare combination of generes that rarely work together - the story is first and foremost pure science fiction, yet presented in the medium of animation. While the average theatergoer will always equate animation with children's films, 9 is definitely an adult story - animation is simply used because the circumstances of the plot demand it (since we can't actually build small robotic dolls with burlap skin that can act!). 9 takes place in a post-apocalyptic world full of rubble and dust - there are no human characters at all, except for flashbacks, and much of the film is spent slowly revealing both what has happened and what's going on now for these nine living creations. Each of the dolls has a distinct personality, almost as if they were separate sides of a single mind (and there's a very good, if obvious, reason for that), and watching their interactions was fascinating to me. I wouldn't really call it character development, but it's definitely something like "character discovery", as both the dolls and the audience learn who they are together. However, I would say over half the movie is pure action, as the dolls battle against maniacal (and often horrific) mechanical creatures. These fights are all exciting, but definitely super-intense and PG-13 creepy (possibly to be expected since Focus Features also released Coraline!). It's easy to say that 9's plot is a bit thin, but I enjoyed the ambiguity (especially during the ending) and wondering what these creations can hope to accomplish in their bleak world. 9 is certainly an artistic, dystopian bit of science fiction, and I'd definitely recommend it to fans of movies like Blade Runner!