From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Saturday Morning Cartoon: 9

Recently a trailer was released for a strange CGI film simply called 9, directed by Shane Acker and co-produced by an up-and-comer named Tim Burton. Appropriately scheduled for release on 9-9-09, the film has an impressive cast that includes Elijah Wood as the title character, as well as stars Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, and more as a host of other numbers.

The film centers on a ragtag group of rag dolls (characters reminiscent of the creatures in the game Little Big Planet on the Playstation 3) living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland populated with mechanical monstrosities that threaten their survival. Some may not be aware that this feature film is an expansion/adaptation of an 11-minute short film of the same name, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005. It’s unknown how closely the longer film ties into the original short, but it presents an excellent glimpse of the eerie world of 9 and his people, and stands as a satisfying and haunting film on its own.

What do you think? Has this whet your appetite for more? Do you think the feature film can be as powerful as the dialogue-free and exposition-lite short, particularly with 9 sounding like Frodo Baggins? It’s a bit like reading a short story versus a novel–each form has its own strengths and weaknesses, so maybe it’s a matter of preference.

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