A great match of music and animation with this two-pack from the creators of The Matrix trilogy. Nine groundbreaking short films from seven of the world's leading anime directors and 12 tracks from the hottest names in ele... more »ctronica music.« less
"I've seen a good chunk of this on the web and other places, and all I can say is WOW.What is the Animatrix? In a nutshell, it is a collection of short Matrix stories that are animated. And the cool thing about it is that they're all mostly animated in different ways. (A few are done in anime, another in full CG, some just plain old animation, and others a mix of 2 or a mix of three of the above.)The DVD will have nine (9) episodes to watch. Here's a quick overview of the ones I know a lot about and/or have seen:1) THE SECOND RENNAISANCE, PARTS 1 and 2: This is a 2-parter that fills is all of the backstory that happened before the first Matrix film. It chronciles how the machines were made, how they took control, the war between the humans and the machines, and the creation of the Matrix. (Made in plain animation)
2) PROGRAM: Most of this one is fashioned and made like an Akira Kurosawa film. It's basically a duel between two samuari-like warriors in a matrix program where the setting is ancient Japan. (Made in anime)
3) WORLD RECORD: This one is basically about an extremely fast runner that can "run out of the Matrix and in to the real world" just because of pure strength/speed.
4) DETECTIVE STORY: This story, animated in black and white, fills in the critical backstory of the Trinity character from the movies. Includes voice acting by actress Carrie-Anne Moss.
5) FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS: Basically, this is a 9-minute completely CG animated story that serves as a prequel to "The Matrix Reloaded" and "Enter the Matrix (GAME)." It begins as a blindfold sword duel and then escalates in to a ship chase with sentinels. This one has great action and great plotting, as well as convincing animation (Think "Final Fantasy," except 10 times more realistic.) I saw this one in the theatre. WOW!!!There are a few more, entitled KID'S STORY, MATRICULATED, and BEYOND. JUDGING FROM THE TRAILER, MATRICULATED is an extremely wierd episode with a mix of CG animation and regular animation. BEYOND follows a group of kids in to a "haunted" house. Agents find them and capture them because of they're too close to finding out something secret.KID'S STORY is about a boy running from agents. (That's all I could gather from the trailer.)For more information, watch the trailer on the web. Thanks for reading!"
A terrific, if uneven, companion piece to the movie series.
Benjamin Wyatt | Greensboro, NC United States | 06/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS This computer generated prequel to the Matrix Reloaded, produced entirely in CGI, is the most technically advanced piece in this collection. There are moments when I forgot that I was watching virtual actors. The passion between the two main characters is intense, in a way that I thought computer images would never be able to imitate. An excellent short (not my favorite) but because of its intimate ties to the Matrix Reloaded, both in terms of story and style, seems out of place. It would have served better as the beginning of the second film.THE SECOND RENAISSANCE PARTS I & IISimply put, these pieces are the most powerful and provocative in the entire collection, filled with graphic and horrifying images. In a fascinating look at the prehistory of the Matrix films, humanity, not the machines, are the guilty party, enslaving an entire race of sentient life with no mercy. (As Gods, humans created machines in their image, so the slavers become the enslaved.) These shorts actually change the meaning of the overall film- very powerful.KID'S STORYA somewhat ho-hum story with some nice visuals and a cool ending that helps flesh out a small part of the second movie (don't want to give any spoilers) this segment is kind of pedestrian otherwise, with the skateboard tricks seeming to be the type of thing that would be cool in a 1980's comedy flick.PROGRAMSome interesting visuals help spice up a rather bland storyline in this short. Seems to be a remake of the fight seens between Morpheus and Neo in the first film. The story brings up the difficulty in accepting the bleak reality instead of the less bleak dreamworld, but never goes anywhere with the question.WORLD RECORDPerhaps the least visually appealing, with overly stylized runners going slo-mo for most of the short. If jiggly muscles are your thing, this is the short for you. No story substance in this one- very dull to watch. Also, whazzup with the agents?BEYONDA very beautiful piece, BEYOND is perhaps at heart the most simple story in the collection, with the focus on the perceptions of a young girl and some children in the face of mysteries they can never understand. Very engrossing.A DETECTIVE STORYA cool, stylish direction can not give this story the life it needed to fully flesh out. While it is the only one in the collection that focuses on the life of one of the major players in the film series (Trinity, with the voice done by the original actress, no less) the main character of the short is cardboard. Very disappointing.MATRICULATEDThe most bizarre and surreal of the bunch- this one took two viewings for me to understand its meaning, and still many of the images seem random, or bizarre for weirdness sake. The concept of pulling a machine into a human generated world and manipulating their perceptions is intriguing, but in the end we are left with many random but beautiful images that distract more than anything else."
Great Companion Piece
truster38 | 06/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It can be argued that this collection of 9 animated shorts based on the world of The Matrix was as anticipated as Reloaded. I, for one, was incredibly intrigued just by the concept. I asked myself "could any movie actually pull this off?" The Animatrix answers my question. The world that The Wachowski Brothers have created truly is the Star Wars of this generation. It is a cutural phenomena, and the quality of the 9 shorts that comprise The Animatrix show the impact of The Matrix. Here's a review of each short:1) Final Flight Of the Osiris-This is the only short film to be done in 3-D. It was done, in fact, by the team behind the 3-D movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. It looks great and incredibly realistic. The story directly relates to the events in Reloaded. A great way to kick off this collection because it is the most familiar in style and feel. 2 & 3) The Second Renaissance-This two-parter tells the story of how man and machine came to fight against each other. Probably my favorite of all the shorts story-wise, because it gave me chills and also made me think way too much about the possibilities it presents. Be warned, this is probably the most violent of all the short films here.4) Kid's Story-Another story that directly relates to something alluded to in Reloaded. Remember the annoying kid Neo encountered in Zion who always followed him everywhere? This is your chance to see what that was really about. 5) Program-This short deals with the training process people who have been freed must go through. It has absoutely breathtaking animation, and is the most "anime" of the 9.6) World Record-This story shows the possibilities of being "plugged-in." Think that the only way someone can be freed is by taking the red pill? Watch this. The most interesting and inventive story as far as I'm concerned, coupled with a unique style of animation.7) Beyond-This short deals with how the machines handled glitches in the system. It has gorgeous animation, with bright colors and a thoroughly Japanese look. 8) A Detective Story-Remember Trinity's legendary hacker status, alluded to in the first movie? This is the whole story. This one has a very unique style that I think fit the feel of the story well, and it's nice to see Trinity when she was still the baddest hacker on the block.9) Matriculated-Can the machines be convinced to join the human side? After all, if humans were batteries and if machines have A.I., doesn't that make both man and machine connected in some way? This last short, with the best-looking animation out of the 9, answers those questions. Just as The Second Renaissance will make you feel for man, this one will make you feel for the other side.Overall, I'd say The Animatrix succeeded what it set out to do. This was never meant to be enjoyed on the same level as the movies, it was meant to give everyone a further understanding of what The Matrix is and provide a more detailed backstory to complement the movies. It is great to see how the animators do sometimes recreate such effects as bullet-time. It comes very very close to being as dazzling and visually stunning as the movies themselves. The stories are a little sad, but they also kind of have to be. The root of why The Matrix is so popular is because there is nothing as painful for humans to watch than well, ourselves. The Matrix is spectacular and impossible, and at the same time the emotional impact of these 9 shorts, as well as the movies, is what really keeps the audience watching. As for the DVD itself, the menus are at once cool and a little bit overdone (navigating them can be a little weird the first time you pop it into your DVD player). There are few extras but nothing fancy, although the commentaries included on The Second Renaissance 1 and 2, Program, Beyond from the creators offer insight into the stories as well as the conceptual process (don't worry they are subtitled in English). Overall, if you are a fan of the movie, or of animation, you owe it to yourself to check The Animatrix out. The stories are great, the animation is both varied and beautiful, and the whole thing is, quite simply, cool. In a word: whoa."
Pretty good, interesting stories
Mark Pollock | Davis, CA United States | 05/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, so this is a nice addition to the Matrix canon, and does give us a lot of back story to the events that happen in the live action films.The stories are mostly entertaining, though a couple are as gruesome and troubling as possible. If you are not the kind of person that enjoys bodies being mutilated and people being killed cruelly by robots, this might not be for you. Also, if you don't like the Matrix films, this is not for you. In fact, why are you even reading this? The animation is great, the sound is excellent, and overall the dvd is worthwhile. If you enjoy really wild animation and special effects, you will certainly like this. HOWEVER - just because this is animated does NOT mean that this is child appropriate. It is not. It is completely inappropriate (IMO) for children under the age of 12. It is very violent and contains images that are FAR too incomprehensible for young children, not to mention R rated language. Fine for adults and teenagers old enough to know the difference between reality and movies, simply not appropriate for children."
Engrossing backstories provide greater understanding
ilwitchgrrl | 09/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have The Animatrix here from netflix, so I sat down tonight and watched it. Wow. I was very impressed with it. It's nine short anime-style films (four written by the Wachowski brothers, if I'm not mistaken; the others conceptualizations from famous anime writers/directors) based in/around the world of the Matrix. It makes a very nice supplemental piece to the film; adds greater depth and provides a deeper understanding of some of it. (Plus, it's always fun to see Neo and Trinity again! lol bonus that they were voiced by Keanu and Carrie-Anne.) Great techno beats in a lot of the shorts, and some truly stunning visuals. Some of the concepts were raw, disturbing, edgy. A lot of really interesting types of machines in there too. I think that, hands down, my favorite one was "Final Flight of the Osiris". The animation is computer-generated, by the same team that did the Final Fantasy movie, and boy is it impressive. I really wasn't convinced at first that it WAS animated. :) The story is such that it could fit right in to one of the movies. I also really enjoyed The Second Rennaissance, Parts One and Two: these two were the backstory of why the machines rose up against man, how the surface was destroyed, how the machines took over and began using man, and how the world became what it is "today". Four out of five stars from me. (Five star movies are ones I'll watch over and over again, and though I am likely to revisit this movie with other Matrix fans, I would probably only watch the three mentioned in my review on a repeated basis.)If you're a fan of the Matrix movies and/or anime, I'd highly recommend watching these."