The Animatrix is a collection of nine short films, all around ten minutes in length. Kid’s Story, Matriculated, World Record, Detective’s Story, Final Flight of the Osiris, Program, Beyond, The Second Renaissance Part I and The Second Renaissance Part II. Each of these films gives an attempt to cover one part of The Matrix, a movie trilogy made a couple of years ago. The remarkable thing about this anime is the fact that both eastern as western producers and directors worked on it. If you haven’t seen the matrix yet, the story basically revolves around the future, in which machines have taken over the world. The sunlight has been blocked and the machines noticed that human bio-energy was an extremely useful source of energy. The machines then put humans in containers, while their minds are permanently captured in The Matrix, or a huge virtual world. There’s no way to tell that this world isn’t real. The Matrix stimulates each of the senses. Every human locked up just believes that that he’s living his daily life in a world similar to ours.
The Matrix itself was really though-provoking, and it’s unsurprising that most of the nine-shorts are so as well. They bring up interesting questions. Also, when you look at the graphical department, The Animatrix excels. Each of the different shorts offers a different art, background and animation style. And each of these styles, ranging from CGI to extremely messy and from black and white graphics to extremely smooth ones, works out great. A lot of budget went into the art and animation, and this clearly is visible, with some great effects.
About the different shorts. The thing is that there are some very good ones, but also some very bad ones. The best of the bunch is arguably The Second Renaissance. It features an extremely interesting, though very shocking explanation about how The Matrix originated. Beyond and World Record also are definitely worth the watch. Beyond features a huge amount of style and symbolism, with an interesting story as well. World Record is extremely intense, with a very interesting main character whose body and soul get the shock of their lives.
Then we’ve also got some slightly interesting shorts. Both Program and Kid’s Story provide some interesting issues with really make you think. They also have some interesting art styles (Program goes back to the old ninja-movies, but with fluid animation while Kid’s Story features extremely messy character art with beautiful background art). While they are interesting, and a good watch, they weren’t really as good as the three mentioned above.
And then we have the rather bad ones. Detective’s story leaves things rather unexplained and moves a bit too fast. While its film noir style was interesting, the negative parts bothered me a bit too much. Matriculated dragged on. Its art was psychedelic, though it took way too long. And the semi-3D art wasn’t really appealing for the eyes as well. The worst of the shorts was Final Flight of the Osiris. While it did provide realistic 3D-characters, it just consisted of people fighting and guns shooting without a purpose. Its failed attempts at drama by providing love interest also totally backfired.
Overall, The Animatrix has its ups and downs. Still, I’m really recommending it if you’ve seen the original movie. Because oft he different styles used, there’ll definitely be a movie which appeals to you.