Advice of the Day (Forum)
Books (Forum)
Druidic Ramblings (Forum)
Dumb Ideas (Forum)
H-Town (Forum)
Links (Forum)
Movies (Forum)
Music (Forum)
Opinions (Forum)
Photo Albums (Forum)
Prose/Poetry (Forum)
Questions (Forum)
Video Games (Forum)

Basic Article Search

Enter search terms below:

Member Login



Register Here

View Article

Quick review of the Animatrix

Posted by phduffy on 2003-10-19 23:00:35
The Animatrix is a collection of 9 short animated films in the world of the matrix. Some of them fill in gaps in the story, most of them do not. Here they are!

Final Flight of the Osiris:
This is done by the same people that made the Final Fantasy movie, which means it looks amazing. It starts with an excuse to show off how well they do people, which is done by having a blindfolded swordfight that ends up with the woman in her underwear and the man topless. Hot. It then tells the story of how Zion has the information it has at the start of the second Matrix movie. A good little flick that fills in a gap with some amazing animation. Recommened.

The Second Renaissance Part 1:
This is the story of how the Robots took over. It takes place after the singularity has already taken place, in a world in which the now sentient robots are basically slaves. It then decides to use every piece of terror and social upheaval in the 20th century to tell the story of the Robots. We see the Chicago riots where Robots are beat down, the Nazi Death camps they're put in, the Tiamen Square tank scene, the Vietnam style execution and more. I'm not sure if I should be offended by that or not. On the one hand, it's just a movie. On the other hand, do we really need that in a movie? Anyways, it ends with the Robots being exiled to Greenland and setting up their own country. The animation is okay. Mild recomendation.

The Second Renaissance Part 2:
Okay, now the Robots try to negotiate with the humans. Doesn't work, see, the Robots aren't all bad, they tried! For reasons that aren't entirely clear the Robots then start a war. The Robots have the upper hand from Day 1 in this war, and never lose it. Even when the Humans have operation Dark Out or whatever it's called, the Robots keep kicking ass. It's not really made clear why the Robots decided to kill everyone, but basically eventually they realize that they need humans so they can use them as batteries. Mild recomendation.

Kid's Story: The story of a kid similar to Neo in the first movie as he tries to escape the Matrix. I think this guy is the annoying kid in the second Matrix movie, but I'm not sure. This movie made me think. Okay, so the agents of the Matrix can just seize and takeover any human in the Matrix that's still connected. When they were chasing this kid, why didn't they just take over him? Mild recommendation.

Program: A story set in a VR sim of medeval Japan, which instantly ups the awesomeness. This has no effect on the movie, and I'm not entire sure what the point was. It's about two people thinking about going back in the Matrix. But would would have happened to the woman if she'd decided to go back? Were they going to shoot her? Mild recomendation.

World Record: The story of a man that almost breaks through the Matrix via his excellence in atheletics. The Animation is very reminiscent of comic books, and in particular 100 bullets. Unfortunately, while this gritty look works in comics, it does not work in animation. Scenes are confusing messes of blurs and shadows. Not recommended.

Beyond: A girl looks for her cat, finds it in a haunted house. Completely unrelated to anything. Animation is pretty much traditional Anime style. Barely needs to be set in the Matrix universe at all. Suffers some of the usual failings of anime, as it attempts to be cute and interesting and weird and fails at all three. Not recommended.

A Detective Story: The story of a detective that's looking for the hacker known only as Trinity., which leads to Alice in Wonderland references and the Matrix.
This brings up another weakness of the Matrix films. The freed members of the Matrix have no qualms about killing fellow humans that are still in the Matrix. This might be okay if they'd somehow made some mention of it in the movies, but it seems unusual that it's completely ignored. Mild recommendation.

Matriculated: The Humans capture a Robot and put it in a Matrix and try to get it to change sides. Complete crap. They would have been better to include nothing than to include this garbage. Note to filmakers: Sometimes it's okay for your film to make sense! Not recommended.

All in all, the Animatrix gets a mild recommendation. Probably only worth seeing if you're a big fan of the Matrix, although if you're not you probably weren't going to see it anyways.
I guess some of the directors are big Anime directors, so if you're a fan of theirs you might want to see it. However, in some cases (Matriculated, Beyond) they have failed to do anything that they couldn't have done in a typical anime. And in a typical Anime people wouldn't be expecting something Matrix related. As mentioned, many of the films also suffer from the same weaknesses as anime, such as terrible voice acting, and plots that try to be too cute. Compare the anime here to that in Kill Bill. There is no comparison, as Kill Bill tells a short, complete comprehensible story. Yes it's violent, but it doesn't try to cutesy it up or impress us, it just tells a story.
Some of the typical strenths of anime are also on display here. However, when dealing with the Matrix films, cool locations and visuals are less important, as we've already seen that. Yes, it's cool that the sentinals in Final Flight of the Osiris look real. However, we've already seen them look real in the Matrix movies!