9 (2009)

Out Now On-Demand

9 is a pet-project of up-and-coming director Shane Acker that is sure to be as personal as it is technically impressive. Based on his Oscar nominated short-film, it's set in a post-apocalyptic world devoid of humans, but there the similarities to Wall-E end. Produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov – the man responsible for vampire fantasy Night Watch – the film oozes techno chic in each of its animated frames.

When 9 (voiced by Elijah Wood) meets a group of rag-doll creatures similar to himself, he discovers he is a natural leader. He offers assistance to his new companions, helping to defend them from a harsh, futuristic environment of garish insect-like beings. The voice cast also includes John C. Reilly, Martin Landau and Crispin Glover.


Directed by


Adventure, Animated, Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction


Rating: M Contains content that may disturb


Official Site

A feature length version of his 2005 Oscar-nominated animated short of the same name, writer-director Acker's (an animator on The Return of the King) 9 boasts breathtaking animation and impressive sound design. The dark, dystopian visuals will excite fans of the Terminator and Matrix series, while also evoking memories of Coraline and Sid's room from the original Toy Story.

The film’s lack of a light touch, however, ensures this is not really a tale for littlies. Plotwise, 9 is a bit frayed around the edges with the mystery at the heart of the story surrounded by a succession of chase and fight sequences. There are some nice parallels to 1930s Germany in the backstory though (perhaps the film should have been called ‘Nein’), punctuated by the haunting use of Judy Garland's version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Like its recently-released alphabetic namesake, 9 also boasts a fantastic cast. Christopher Plummer, John C Reilly, Elijah Wood and Martin Landau, are joined by Jennifer Connelly and Crispin Glover for what would be an indie-film lover's dream team. And they all imbue their sackboy-esque characters with distinctive personalities.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)


The best reason to see it is simply because of the creativity of its visuals. They're entrancing.

Empire (UK)


The apocalyptic 9 offers innovative images of a broken Earth inhabited by woven warriors battling machines. But it’s more style than substance — this mechanical tale needs a human touch.

Guardian (UK)


Now, like post-­apocalyptic wombles or borrowers, the mites scurry and scamper about the wrecked landscape in a manner that I can only describe as uninteresting.

Hollywood Reporter (USA)


9 never adds up to much. It's a dark adult film that gives itself over to the chases and frights of a kiddie movie.

New York Times


Every effort to expand the range of feature-length animation beyond the confines of cautious family fare is to be welcomed, and budding techno and fantasy geeks are likely to be intrigued and enthralled.

NZ Herald (Francesca Rudkin)


9 began life as a short film, winning creator Shane Acker, then a student at the University of California, a Student Academy Award for animation. Now, with the support of film-makers Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland, The Corpse Bride) and Timur Bekmambetov (Nightwatch) as producers, Acker's turned his post-apocalyptic adventure into a full length feature for sci-fi loving adults.

Total Film (UK)


Great material, credible producers, top voice talent and gorgeous visuals, stitched together to make a patchwork that’s less than the sum of its parts. Striking and ambitious, but worn at the seams.

Variety (USA)


Design aspects are arresting and the filmmaker's abilities are obvious, but the basic survival story remains slight, just as the general setting, no matter how artfully imagined, is by now pretty familiar.

viewNewzealand.co.nz (Matt Turner)


The animation is visually striking throughout but the film's imagination only stretches as far as the production design and the overly bleak plot fails to engage on an emotional level.

Visually out standing

Great animation but couldnt get myself in to the storyline but worth a look for the animation alone

Wonderful but wierd

Great animated film very unusal but then come to expect that from anything to do with Tim Burton .Not one really for children not cutesy like Nemo or Wall E but like any Burton film dark and gloomy with tones of his other works thrown in still good to watch even if your not a big fan of burton

Charmed, but glad it was a freebie.


Charmed, but glad it was a freebie.

I won a copy of this movie in a competition. It was absolutely stunning visually; beautiful animation that consistently made me gasp. Nice world-building and interesting characters too. Sadly, the plot let it down. The story made little sense, moved too quickly and breezed by several gaping plot holes and conveniences without seeming to notice. Not enough to engage the heart and/or brain as well as the eyeballs, I'm afraid. Although I will say that 3, 4 and 6 were adorable.

Worth a watch for the amazing visuals and endearing characters. Just don't expect a gripping story.

Don't Bother


Don't Bother

Only film in the last 20 years that I considered getting up and leaving, The novelty of the animations lasts about 30 seconds after that it's just a load of glove puppets wandering around a post apocalyptic landscape acting out some ludicrous and half baked plot line. Looks like an overblown animation from a film school graduate's last year project; and given this film they should have been thrown out with it.

Absolutley Brilliant


Absolutley Brilliant

Seen it before when it was showing in America, and I can assure you, this is a brilliant amazing film, with a story which is as unusual yet astonishing as Tim Burton-esque wolds go to. This one is not for the kiddies (coz I can assure you they'll get bored), but for those with open minds about the world, and how different people percieve them shown to you through the use of a unique and original medium.

Lovable charcters, inticing story, and some sad yet amazing moments. Not to be missed.

Got the DVD from Amrica

I got the dvd when I was in amrica for christmas and new years (seeing as our dvd player can do all zones). I got some of my friends over to see it the other day and it was really good both visaly and story wise. The action was amazing. The film is quite short (1 hour 20 mins including credits) but fells nothing like it.