AKA: The Anicashgrab
I’m not a big fan of The Matrix trilogy, one of the more mainstream science fiction spectacles of the past twenty years. When I was a kid, I loved it. It was my first R-rated movie, it was dark and edgy like any kid is bound to like, and it had neat martial arts action. But as I grew older I finally watched the second and third films and began to hate the series. Anymore, probably thirteen or so years after watching The Matrix for the first time, I think it’s overrated and I can’t see the appeal. It hasn’t aged well and that, on top of pretty bad storytelling as the movies continued, led me to neglect the series for years…
Until now. I never watched the Animatrix, I don’t think I had any intention to after Revolutions. So now, years later, allow me to break down the pieces that comprise the Animatrix and tell you which are good and which are bad. As this is a compilation of shorts from various studios, I feel it’s not fair to judge the movie as an entire package, so I’ll instead tell you which stories to watch and which you can pass on.
Final Flight of the Osiris-Written by the Wachowski brothers and animated by Square, this nine minute segment looks like the opening cutscene of a PS2 game. It starts with an entirely pointless fight where two characters cut the clothes off each other. They are suddenly pulled out of the simulation as Sentinels are chasing down their ship in the real world. What follows is a six minute sequence ending in a climax that isn’t satisfying, nor really matters. This entire short is nothing more than an introduction to the style of The Matrix rather than pulling us in early on. The writing is lame, the CG is very dated, and you’ll find nothing of value here. 3/10
The Second Renaissance Part I-The second short details events before The Matrix, namely the divide between humans and machines. What you’ll find here is an interesting background story about humans and machines having a schism that leads to animosity and violence. The machines build their own nation, wind up creating better technologies and having more valuable currency, which doesn’t make humanity happy at all. This is all visualized stunningly, with many disturbing images as well as copies of real life historical moments such as the tank running a robot down a la Tienanmen Square. A fan of the movies will enjoy this history lesson. 7/10
The Second Renaissance Part II-While containing some of the fantastic visuals of part one, part two is a lot less compelling. The humans put a dome around the Earth so the machines can’t operate on solar power leading to a war that ends with the machines realizing they can harvest energy from human brains. Thus the Matrix was born. This part was pretty stupid. While the first part set up the idea of a smart science fiction story, the second reveals how ridiculous the plot of the series really is and how much the Wachowski’s love to ruin good ideas with nonsense. If you watched the first part, watch the second, but be forewarned, it’s stupid. 3.5/10
Kid’s Story-The first visually appealing short from an artistic standpoint, Kid’s Story is directed by my biggest adversary in the directing world, Shinichiro Watanabe. A high school kid realizes he’s inside of the Matrix, leading to agents coming after him while Neo guides him toward escape. While not the most impressive in plot, the animation is gorgeous. For style alone, I’d suggest this segment. It’s the best of the bunch. 8/10
Program-A shorter piece, this one is another visual feast that concentrates on two people fighting over ideologies in a feudal Japanese setting. The action here is crisp, the dialogue is pretty smart, but it, penultimately, doesn’t matter. I feel that to have a good short here, you need a beginning, middle, and end, not just a singular idea that doesn’t go anywhere. Program is nice, but I still don’t see how this is enriching me any further in the world of The Matrix. 6/10
World Record-Here is the story of an Olympic racer who runs so fast he breaks the Matrix while some agents go after him to keep him locked within the program. That’s it. The animation isn’t that great, the story isn’t exciting, and I think this may have been the weakest segment so far. 3/10
Beyond-A pretty good short about a group of kids discovering a glitchy area in their town and exploiting the glitches for fun. While again not telling a compelling story this one does give us an idea of the process that is gone through to repair problems in the Matrix. It has good animation and ideas, but it’s an otherwise unremarkable piece. 7/10
A Detective Story-Another piece from Shinichiro Watanabe, this one is a noir adventure about a detective who is recruited to track down the hacker known as Trinity. From the outset you can see and hear the style (of course, very typical of Watanabe). This one’s a good short with an actual plot, neat design, and it ties into the movies, making it feel more relevant. 7.5/10
Natriculated-This one is made by the people who gave us Aeon Flux and is another eh on my part. It’s got the trademark style of Flux but I wasn’t impressed by the story nor did I find it to be exciting in any regard. As a finale, it’s weak. 5.5/10
The Animatrix is a very mixed bag. There are a couple of notable segments but it’s just about as underwhelming as the actual Matrix movies. If you’re a fan of the movie series, then you’ll find some enjoyment here, but if not it’s an lame grab bag of great talents producing mostly half-assed shorts.
It’s rather hard to talk about a show like this because it’s mostly like a range of different episodes. They may all contain the Matrix like style but there really isn’t much that connects them. From the story to the animation, each part is different and told in its own way. The movie gets more and more confusing as the stories keep going, making it hard to get what is going on. There isn’t an indication of if you are inside the Matrix or outside it. All I could understand was how pretty the animations were at points and how ‘crappy’ they were in others. The whole mix of samurai to space age, to computer simulations that look so real that it could be live action, all of that just seemed a little overboard.
Question, why does it start out with a man and women undressing each other with katanas? Is it just for sexual looks or is there actually a reason for it? Can someone answer this part for me?
The animation was all over the place from CG to Cartoon, to whatever. I felt rather bombarded by all the different art styles just as it happened in ‘Dante’s Inferno: An animated epic’. The only thing that saved this a little was that the stories were not all linked to one storyline like Dante. When I say Crappy artwork, I don’t mean bad artwork. I just mean stuff that really doesn’t look right in my eyes. The style that is so loaded with detail that you can see almost every line in the face right next to stuff that is very simplified. I may not be using the right word for it but I have no other idea what to use for it. Now the detail work pretty much is nice in the CG part, but I thought it never worked in the cartoon part of the show.
The voices are actually pretty well done and one of the only fluid parts of the show. They have voices that work out rather well for the mood that the ‘scene’ is trying to show. If it’s intense, it sounds intense, if it’s slow, it has that feeling. Some of the characters sound like they were voiced by some of the voice actors that were even in the matrix itself.
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The Animatrix was a unique and fun experience. Although not exactly what I had hoped. It was awesome to see many different styles of animation talking about one subject (sort of). However because it is a compilation of several short movies it is hard to give it an overall rating. What I will rate this on is how the stories worked in conjunction to the actual Matrix Trillogy. I had hoped to see stories about semi important events that did not make it into the matrix movies. There were nine shorts. Of those had something fairly related to the main story. "The Final Flight of The Osiris" was about the closest it got. The Second Renaissance Part I and II was also cool. I enjoy origin stories personally so it was cool to watch. The others didn't really have much to do with the series other than referencing the characters. They are awesome stand alone works. I recommend it to those who like seeing different artistic styles. But dont go into it thinking you'll see the animated version of neo or morpheus. (Trinity appears though).
Una increible animacion basado en la pelicula Matrix con diferentes verciones del director, la verdad que esta serie de mini capitulos esta muy bien lograda y con el uso de las computadoras tenemos una calidad muy parecida a la vida real.
Bueno para verlo como "cultura general".
The Animatrix is a collection of short films, 9 in total that where created from the creators of the Matrix series and anime directors that inspired them when they where creating the Matrix. Some of the stories are good, while others are not so good. What is nice about this is that each story is animated in a different style and features different characters and voice actors. This is worth the watch for anybody that enjoyed the Matrix film.