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The Animatrix
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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Definitely a must-see...

8/10
Author: José Luis Rivera Mendoza (jluis1984) from Mexico
28 March 2006

The Wachowski brothers managed to create an inspiring new sci-fi universe when they released their now-classic "The Matrix" in 1999. The premise of a virtual world where the mind "lives" proved to be limitless with the release of this collection of 8 animated shorts; each one of them exploring the Wachowski's "Matrix" universe in very different and interesting ways. With superb animation by veterans of different styles of animation, some of "The Animatrix" shorts at times feel even better than the Matrix series themselves.

Andy Jones, one of the minds behind "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within", starts with "The Final Flight of the Osiris", a movie done completely with computer generated graphics that shows a race against time in order to warn the citizens of the rebel city of Zion that the machines found them and are going to destroy them. The beautiful and fluid animation is very good, but overall the story doesn't live up to the expectations. It is a cold start, but very good after all.

Veteran animator Mahiro Maeda continues with a 2 part story called "Second Renaissance", a story detailing the events that lead to the creation of the Matrix which easily ranks among the best shorts of the compilation. Its fabulous animation done in anime style is visually beautiful and in a short time it tells a powerful story with a great message. True masterpiece.

Shinichirô Watanabe, director of the acclaimed "Cowboy Bebop" directs two segments, "Kid's Story" and "a Detective Story". The first one is a bit uneven, with good animation but a weak story. No wonder why it is the shortest of all as it has no place for development. On the other hand, "A Detective Story" is a brilliant segment very reminiscent of Watanabe's own "Cowboy Bebop". Mixing perfectly film noir with the Matrix universe, this superb anime is definitely a must-see.

Another big name of anime, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, directs "Program", dealing with the doubts of those who have been awakened of the Matrix. With a beautiful setting in Medieval Japan, Kawajiri manage to show true emotions through the vivid visuals. I feel this short is a bit underrated and that it is more than what it seems.

The lead animator of the world famous "Ninja Scroll" (1993), Takeshi Koike, directs "World Record"; an interesting tale of a man who manage to awake by his own means, while trying to break the 100m dash time world record. While the story is top notch, the stylish design for the characters at times looks a bit too over-the-top, however, it still is one of the best shorts of "The Animatrix".

Koji Morimoto directs one of the most most imaginative shorts in the collection: "Beyond". A tale about a place where "The Matrix" has had a processing error, turning it into a "haunted house" where some kids go to test reality and go literally beyond imagination. This short truly shows what anime really is about, with an enormous display of creativity, not only in the visuals, but also in the writing.

Finally, "Æon Flux"'s creator Peter Chung delivers the grim "Matriculated". A tale about a group of humans who try to "humanize" the machines. Despite it's dark tone, this is probably the most optimistic short, and the most humane. The animation feels like another chapter of Chung's famous miniseries, so fans of his work will be pleased.

"The Animatrix" is definitely a must-see for any fan of sci-fi, as in the tradition of "Heavy Metal", it explores different aspects of science fiction, going even beyond what "The Matrix" movies have done. 8/10

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39 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Superior to "Reloaded"

8/10
Author: Daniel Feit from New York
31 May 2003

After loving the original "Matrix" film and hating the recent "Reloaded," my enthusiasm for "Animatrix" was somewhere between curiosity and contempt. "Reloaded" was so slow and empty I hesitated to explore the "Matrix" concept any further as a possible waste of time. Well, the good news is that "Animatrix," while far from perfect, is much more interesting than "Reloaded" as it explores the original concept rather than try to act as a sequel.

"The Animatrix" is a collection of animated short stories, each one independent of the others. Each tale has its own interesting twist and can be enjoyed in any order (except for the two-part episode, obviously). The stories are based on the original "Matrix" film so if you haven't seen the sequel(s), don't worry. The segments are (in no particular order):

"Final Flight of the Osiris" This is a CGI animated story that is a prelude to the story of "Reloaded." While I'm not a big fan of 3D computer animation, it was actually quite good and I think it should have been filmed and included in "Reloaded." It would have made a much more exciting introduction.

"Program" This was a very brief but an exciting battle between two humans in the Matrix. As they fight they argue over the merits of the fight against the Machines. The ending is a bit of a cop-out but the story is still cool.

"The Second Renaissance" This is a two-part story that explains the war between Man and the Machines. Morpheus gives a brief overview of this story in the original "Matrix" film but "Renaissance" actually details why the war began. This was my favorite part of the "Animatrix," although its armageddon-like tale is a little depressing. It also features GRAPHIC VIOLENCE which will shock most viewers, so be prepared. Still, it is a fascinating explanation.

"World Record" This was a fun idea but artistically I was unimpressed. The characters' features and motions were so wildly exaggerated that it feels ridiculous. Could have been better.

"Kid's Story" This is another story which sets up an element of "Reloaded." It is brief and fun to watch, but not much goes on here.

"Detective Story" I would have enjoyed this piece a lot more if it hadn't been so rushed. The story is interesting but it begins and ends so quickly it's actually not that good. A shame.

"Beyond" This was a cool idea and I enjoyed it. It didn't have much to say but as a short film it was good.

"Matriculation" This is probably the weakest segment as it serves up mostly eye candy and little content. There is an interesting concept behind the action but most of the time you're just staring at wild colors and patterns.

While inconsistent I enjoyed "The Animatrix" and I recommend it. I would have liked to see "The Second Renaissance" and "Detective Story" expanded into feature length films (or at least hour-long OVAs).

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19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Anime at its absolute finest.

8/10
Author: johnnymacbest from United States
17 April 2008

Art is beautiful, beautiful as the world outside and the world inside. Such is the case with movies, which is has excelled at a purely imaginative and visual level. A concept is born, yes, but what is more important is that it is fleshed out in grand and spectacular form in uniqueness and inspiration. Art is what an individual expresses in pictures and ideas and imagination. If art is to be fully realized in a bold and grand vision, the creator must take many steps to make sure that it is unique and impressive. It must break new ground with originality and ingenuity, a long and quite arduous task, but grants rewarding results. And with that, a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction is felt heartily within the soul of the creator and as well in the viewer.

Movies are an expression and also an art medium, spanning decades from the 18th century and now in the 21st century. But another medium exists, born from distant lands with a different culture and different view on the take of art. In Japan, anime was born. Anime are cartoons or drawings told in Japanese style with deep and compelling story lines. Since then its popularity has exploded with Western audiences and worldwide. Unlike traditional animation, which caters to American audiences, anime is culturally different in that its characters and style is more centered on drama and dialog rather than on pure action and one-liners.

1999. A year that a remarkable science fiction film graced American and world audiences. That film was The Matrix. Directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski, the film was a box-office smash hit and became the most successful film in the genre. It was influenced by anime and comic books as well as philosophy. The nature of the film deals with perceptions of reality and the role in discovering the true nature of the "world". It also spawned two sequels which expanded the storyline of the Matrix, but never explored the Matrix itself; leading to some criticism from moviegoers and critics alike. However, the Animatrix is a cool gem in itself that more than garners interest in the world of the Matrix.

Told in a series of 9 vignettes, the Animatrix is a new take on the Matrix concept as it explores the back stories of the first film and features new exciting tales for fans of the films and anime lovers. As in the case of the other reviews on this site, no details will be revealed. Just like in the original film, you have to see it for yourself.

To see the Matrix universe in film version is great but to see it expanded in anime form is simply breathtaking. The visuals are so out of this world and engrossing that you can't help but be immersed in its world. It is truly something to experience and a sight to behold.

A marvelous way to tell a story from a different artistic perspective. Check it out for yourself and appreciate it all over.

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19 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Animatrix or Matrixime

Author: HyperPup from United States
10 June 2003

Being a long time viewer of Anime and Anime Collecting, I found myself very intruigued by the notion of an "all Matrix inspired animation project", and having seen many anime anthologies (Robot Carnival, Neo Tokyo, etc.), I knew it was a sketchy territory to say the least. Most anthologies are hit and miss but this one for me was mostly a hit. Gladly, I was not dissapointed at all. All the stories became not just history to the Matrix world but poignant, frightening, disturbing and scintillating drama that takes the blasted landscape of the machine run Earth into a landscape of incalculable possiblities. The idea of the Matrix having its stylistic touches taken from anime makes this disc an even more appropriate and evolutionary step. Bravo to all who got this project together, because expanding the scope and vison of your work to honor its concepts was pure genious. Lucas could learn a thing by this.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

If you want to understand "The Matrix" you don't want to miss this

9/10
Author: Attila Duka (MatrixG) from Romania
1 January 2009

Born from the directors(Larry and Andy Wachowski)of "The Matrix" ,this 9 part great animated movie tell's the story of what happened whit mankind before the time that "The Matrix" takes place.

Here are the titles of the nine part of The Animatrix: 1.Final Flight of the Osiris 2.Kid's Story 3.The Second Renaissance Part I 4.The Second Renaissance Part II 5.Beyond 6.A Detective Story 7.Program 8.World Record 9.Matriculated

In the first part of The Animatrix "Final Flight of the Osiris" we find out that the Osiris is the ship who informs Zion that the machines are digging direct to it.

If you don't watch the "Kid's story" you will not be able to understand what does the kid is talking about to Neo in "The Matrix Reloaded"

But the most important parts of The Animatrix are the The Second Renaissance Part's in which is told the story between man and machine.

The movie is the necessary introduction of "The Matrix", don't miss it

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17 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

The Origin of Matrix in Animes and Computer Generated Movie

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
5 August 2003

Animatrix is composed of nine excellent episodes, each of them of running time of about ten (10) minutes, showing parts of the concept and universe of 'Matrix'. There are at least three films that are outstanding: the first one ("Final Flight of the Osiris"), which uses the same technique as 'Final Fantasy', and the second and third movies ('The Second Renaissance I & II"), where the war between humans and the machines is explained in details. I watched this series of short movies two days ago, but I intended to see them again and again, to catch more details, especially in the extras of the DVD. The fans of Sci-Fi in general (and 'Matrix') and animes will love this DVD. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Animatrix"

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nothing can get closer to "Ghost in the Shell" than this

10/10
Author: Facehugger_28 from Viet Nam
30 January 2008

Having never seen the Matrix, but being a loyal anime collector, I came across this high ranked animated feature.

Never in my life has I seen something as close as brilliant and poetically nightmarish that Ghost in the Shell has delivered, bringing the Matrix franchise closer to "art and soul" than "blockbuster".

Some of the amazingly dramatic episodes in this feature may make Animatrix a parallel brother to Ghost in the Shell itself. And the animation is very dreamy and expertly crafted, the second best thing that this feature will bring you.

If anime is your thing, or the matrix, or getting started to both, I couldn't recommend this higher.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I actually liked this more than the live action films

9/10
Author: Rectangular_businessman from Peru
14 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I never liked those "Matrix" films, I found them boring and overrated (I don't even liked the first one) However, this brief anthology of short was much, much more interesting than those boring and pretentious movies: The Final Flight of the Osiris": This short was done using a photo-realistic Cgi. It wasn't bad, it was funny to watch.

The Second Reinassance, Part 1 and 2: Those shorts are a prequel of "The Matrix" and reveal many unknown details about the war between mankind and machines. I really this shorts, that give a completely new perspective of the franchise. The animation was quite good and story was quite interesting.

Program:The story was interesting and the animation was nice to look at. That is all I can say about it.

Wolrd Record: This short had a weird story and weird visuals as well. I still liked, even if less than the others.

Beyond: The visuals in this one were quite impressive, and the story was mysterious and fascinating.

Matriculated: This was my less favorite short. The animation and the designs were great, but the story was predictable and uninspired. This was directed by the creator of Aeon Flux, an animated show that I like.

A Detective story: This was my favorite story, directed by Sinichiro Watanabe, the creator of great shows as "Cowboy Bebop". It had a great atmosphere, great animation and a great story too.

Kid's Story:This was one excellent short. Like "A Detective story" it was directed by Sinichiro Watanabe, but the story and visual style were completely different from each other. The animation was very good and the story was simply amazing.

Overall: I think than even those who don't like "The Matrix" should try to give a look at this. Like in many anthology films, some parts are better than others, but the overall result is more than satisfying.

8.5/10

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15 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Goofy

1/10
Author: Fenrir-5 from California, USA
7 May 2003

I finally watched this short after months of people telling me it is "amazing", "awesome", etc. Perhaps all the build-up helped ruin it, but this is the goofiest thing I have seen in ages.

First, the film doesn't actually explain anything. It is simply re-telling the hoary old tale of "man makes machines, machines revolt". There is no explanation of the rise of the machines - they just rise. At the beginning of the film the machines are clearly machines. Then for a part they look like humans. Then they look like machines again. Which is it?

There's nothing new here. There's not even an explanation of how the machines become self-aware. One minute they aren't, next minute they are. And mankind is so cruel - he doesn't want to give the machines equal rights! Don't you see, that robot killed those humans because we're EVIL!

For years sci-fi has been attempting to sell us this navel-gazing, "mankind sucks" line of BS. The humans in this story are needlessly cruel - because to sci-fi geeks that's all humans ever are (why can't they accept me _and_ my wizard cape?).

It's thinly-veiled leftist nonsense. Examine the scene at the UN, where the robots come in (without human skin) dressed in a top hat, holding hands, carrying an apple of peace. Mankind will have none of this peace nonsense! Tear them apart!

Maybe that's why I didn't enjoy the film. It's like a hippie propaganda piece.

Fatalism and self-hatred are not automatically art. These shorts are just as weak as "AI". Their only saving grace is that they have some pretty cool animation.

"The Matrix" is an obvious rip-off of Dick and Gibson. What made it cool was the look and feel - there was a grittiness to the movie that made it very intense. Translated to a clean, hard-edged anime world, it doesn't retain its power. "Ghost in the Shell" is a much better handling of similar material. "Animatrix" is just a licensed knock-off.

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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

The worst piece of crap I've ever seen in my life.

1/10
Author: Joe Enos (jtenos@asu.edu) from Phoenix, Arizona, USA
21 June 2003

After the first program (Final Flight of the Osiris), I was impressed with the animation, and not too disappointed with the story. However, the next 8 features got progressively worse and worse, with horrible animation and terrible plots, mostly having nothing to do with the Matrix whatsoever. I watched it for the purpose of learning more about the story of the Matrix, as the advertisements promised, only to find a bunch of amateur nonsense from a variety of untalented artists and terrible storytellers.

The first story was reasonably exciting, and the second (Second Renaissance) had a fairly decent story which let you forgive the bad animation. After that, each story was worse than the previous one. The drawings look like they were done by children, and the stories seem like they came out of an elementary school.

This movie makes me sick.

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