9 Blu-Ray Review

9 the MovieElijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christpher Plummer, Crispin Glover and Martin Landau star in the sci-fi adventure film 9, out today on DVD and Blu-Ray. The animated film from Shane Acker is a visual masterpiece, full of rich special effects and tons of creativity. While it never completely lives up to expectations, 9 is definitely worth seeing (note: it’s not for little children).

The movie is, of course, about the timeless tale of a rag doll in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has died off, to be replaced by ravenous robotic creatures. The title character – yes, 9 – finds himself on the adventure to the truth about his existence as he is thrust into the middle of a battle between the evil creatures and his own kind, who themselves are divided. Action ensues.

Read my full 9 movie review here, or read on to learn more about the 9 Blu-Ray bonus features…

The 9 Blu-Ray has a fair amount of bonus features for a movie such as this, a relatively low-budget affair that didn’t do particularly well at theaters. None of the features are incredibly informative, and yet none are fluff, either.

The Long and Short of It explores how the short film became a full-scale production; at 15 minutes, it is only marginally longer than the short film itself but still manages to hit on the key points, such as how the story was fleshed out, the decision was made to add dialogue and so forth.

The Look of 9 has Shane Acker talking about his visual storytelling techniques and features interviews with the designers who were responsible for art design, special effects, character animation and more. Similar documentaries have been done for other animated movies, but it’s still neat to see how movies like this are made. I don’t have that much imagination.

Acting Out shows the designers’ inspiration for their animations: themselves. To capture the movements of their characters, they acted the scenes out themselves and videotaped everything, so that they could then go back and apply their animation magic. It’s funny to see these behind-the-camera people throwing themselves into walls, but this featurette is an opportunity lost: it would have been neat to see more of this kind of creative process (and funnier).

The best feature on the disc is the original short film, which is pretty neat to see.

Additionally, the disc comes equipped with BD-Live, deleted scenes and a featurette titled On Tour with Shane Acker, which has the director talking through the step-by-step process of developing the movie.

All in all, the bonus features are decent enough, though none bring anything new to the table. Still, 9 is an extremely imaginative film that, in other years, may have garnered more recognition. Recommended as a rental.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Movie Reviews