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Lucky_Bob's Review of 9

rated it: posted: Sep 20, 2009
Reviews: 78 | Toon Addict
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I went to see Shane Acker's 9 last week with some fairly low expectations. The reviews seemed mixed and all the critics, whether they liked it (like me) or hated it seemed to agree: the film is visually stunning but the characters are flat and one dimensional. The characters are really not characters... they are stereotypes. There's "the Hero", "The Sidekick", the "Kickbutt Female", "the Skeptical Old Guy", "the Big Strong Guy", etc.

Now I am able to forgive the flat characters because I found the whole world Acker created really cool. The scenery was wonderful, the action sequences are beautifully choreographed and animated and the character animation was, for the most part, solid.

I do have some complaints about the character animation and it all comes to the design of the characters... some of them look almost exactly the same apart from a few alterations in the colors. And, alot of the time, they move the same and make the same gestures and the same expressions... It just starts to look boring after awhile.

I think this problem could've been solved by assigning supervising animators to all the characters to make sure this problem does not occur. The supervising animators could've nailed down a certain way that each character moved and gestured and helped the animators stick to that. This is the sort of film where having character supervisers would've worked wonders for it.

It's not so bad when you have diverse looking characters like in a Pixar film like The Incredibles or Up when the design basically speaks for itself... but in the sistuation most of the characters look the same... I think character supervisors are needed.

So those are my thoughts on 9 in a nutshell. It may seem like a fairly negative review but it really is not. I liked the film and think it's an admirable first effort and I wish everyone involved the best of luck. The film is short enough and visually stunning enough to where I can overlook the storytelling flaws. I think the length of the film really saves it. If it were any longer, I probably would've just lost interest.

I really hope this film succeeds and opens a door for more widely released adult-oriented animated films.

I give this film a B-. Not great for sure, but it's far from terrible.

animated movie 9 © Starz Animation
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