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Thursday, December 10, 2009

9

By D.E.Levine

Director: Shane Acker
Writers: Pamela Pettler (screenplay), Shane Acker (story)
Producers: Timur Bekmambetov, Tim Burton, Dana Ginsburg, Jink Gotosh and Jim Lemley
Consulting Producer: Mary Clayton
Co-producer: Marci Levine
Associate Producer: Graham Moloy
Cast: the voices of Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, John C. Reilly, Cripin Glover, Jennifer Connelly, Fred Tatasciore, Elijah Wood, Alan Oppenheimer and Tom Kane
Original Music: Deborah Lurie
Running Time: 79 Minutes
Country of Origin:
Language: English
Genre: Animation, Sci-Fi, Action

First created as a short subject by UCLA student Shane Acker, and nominated for a 2006 Oscar, this expanded full feature film shows us a roughly humanoid rag doll with binocular eyes who meets eight of his predecessors. Together, the nine dolls battle a Transformer-like red-eyed monster they call The Beast.

The doll characters look similar but can be easily distinguished by the identifiable numbers on their backs. They have different visual characteristics and are voiced by well-known actors with distinctive voices.

There is a token female (#7) voiced by Jennifer Connolly and a fearful, dominating leader (#1) voiced by Christopher Plummer. The youngest and boldest (#9)voiced by Elijah Wood, leads the others to explore ruins left from the past.

In addition to finding a Library filled with books, they find a newsreel type film showing a Hitler-like leader who leads the human race into a global conflict that ends with the annihilation of mankind.

Only the dolls and the Beast are left and one has to wonder if the Beast's job is to erase any survivors or evidence of mankind's existence even without the presence of any victors.

While this film may not rival other action films like Transformers and Star Trek, the characters are entrancing, the Beast is scary, and the film's visuals are extremely creative.