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.