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9 (2005)

7.7
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A rag doll fights a monster that has been stealing the souls of his people.

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Title: 9 (2005)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »
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A rag doll fights a monster that has been stealing the souls of his people.

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21 April 2005 (USA)  »

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This film was Shane Acker's thesis project at UCLA film school. See more »

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Referenced in Hewy's Animated Movie Reviews: 9 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Dark and atmospheric short film
30 December 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I was planning on watching the movie 9 recently until someone pointed out it was an expanded version of a short film that I'd not seen, which made me want to watch the short film in the extras and then leave it a while before watching the more recent version. I probably made the right call on that since the original was made on a much more limited budget to say the least and is much simpler and smaller – so seeing it after a full version may have worked against it. Anyway, what I found was a short film that does what a short film is meant to do – engage and deliver quickly.

The plot is not really explained – or at least the background to the world and characters anyways. Instead we are thrown into the middle of it as one ragdoll character has its soul captured by some sort of mechanical creature; this leaves doll #9 to either survive it, kill it or die trying. The short is as simple as that and, in the absence of detail and plot to engage, it is all about atmosphere and feeling. These are almost harder than the visual aspect to create but Acker gets it right, producing a very dark feeling film that engages because of its Gothic feel and dark air. Visually the film works very well even if the limited resources do show. The animation is smooth, the creatures have character and presences with only the slightest touch and the wider world is interesting.

Overall this was an enjoyable and dark short film that worked off atmosphere and visual creativity. I will be interested to see if an expansion and additions of characters, voices etc make it a better experience or if it dilutes the simple short too much across a longer running time.


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