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The animatrix

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

  • The second Renaissance part 1: The genesis of the Matrix: the last cities of mankind, the war with the machines, and humanity's ultimate downfall. An epic guided tour of the Zion archives and the history of the Matrix. (Streaming 4 February 2003)
  • The second Renaissance part 2: The dramatic conclusion of the story behind humanity's downfall and ultimate enslavement by the Machines. (Streaming in May 2003)
  • Kid's story: Sitting in his high school classroom, The Kid gets a personalised invitation from Neo to escape the Matrix. But finding an exit proves more difficult than he ever imagined.
  • Program: In the simulated world of a Samurai training program, Cis, a soldier of Zion, is forced to choose between love and her comrades in the real world. (Streaming in March 2003)
  • World record: Through an incredible combination of will power and physical strength, Dan, a world-record-holding sprinter, breaks out of the Matrix and gets an all-too-brief glimpse of the real world beyond.
  • Beyond: In a quiet town where all is not as it seems, Yoko finds a bug in the system: an abandoned mansion in which anything seems possible. And then the exterminators arrive to "de-bug"...
  • Detective story: Hard-boiled private investigator Ash tracks cyber-criminal Trinity through the looking glass... (Streaming in April 2003)
  • Matriculated: A small group of rebels have captured a sentient robot and proceed to program it to act as an ally for their cause. They succeed too well in teaching the robot to prefer their "human Matrix" to machine reality. And the robot's appetite for the "human Matrix" may exceed the humans' ability to supply it...
  • The final flight of the Osiris: The crew of the hovercraft Osiris must get a message back to Zion, a message of vital importance. Easy to do, but for the armada of Sentinels between them and Zion. Screens with Dreamcatcher.

Persons of interest

  • Andy Wachowski .... Creator
  • Larry Wachowski .... Creator
  • Andy Wachowski .... Screenwriter (Second Renaissance Parts 1 and 2, Kid's story, The final flight of the Osiris)
  • Larry Wachowski .... Screenwriter (Second Renaissance Parts 1 and 2, Kid's story, The final flight of the Osiris)
  • Peter Chung .... Screenwriter (Matriculated)
  • Mahiro Maeda .... Screenwriter (Second Renaissance Parts 1 and 2)
  • Yoshiaki Kawajiri .... Screenwriter (Program),
  • Yoshiaki Kawajiri .... Screenwriter (World record)
  • Shinichirô Watanabe .... Screenwriter (Detective story)
  • Peter Chung .... Director (Matriculated)
  • Andy Jones .... Director (The final flight of the Osiris)
  • Yoshiaki Kawajiri .... Director (Program)
  • Takeshi Koike .... Director (World record)
  • Mahiro Maeda .... Director (Second Renaissance Parts 1 and 2)
  • Kouji Morimoto .... Director (Beyond)
  • Shinichirô Watanabe .... Director (Kid's story)

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Compulsory comparison # 1: Fantasia 2000. The mixture of Styles (some might call it a pastiche) is jarring given that they are all based in the same universe: it's as if the boys were let loose in the animation shop and got one of each flavour. There is traditional animation, anime, black and white, indie animation, computer-generated animation... a veritable potpourri. And then there are the stories themselves: classic film noir, classic science fiction, suburban melodrama, urban melodrama... sometimes they fit together but sometimes it's as if the Matrix is an excuse to do the film.

Compulsory comparison # 2: Final fantasy: The spirits within. The final flight of the Osiris (Osiris is the Egyptian god of the underworld and judge of the dead) uses the same computer models for shape, texture and movement, which is to say that it is cutting edge and so real that it is often hard to believe that it isn't. It's as close to the Matrix as we can currently experience, which is to say that it's great fun. These characters have eyelashes, for heaven's sake. How cool is that?

Compulsory controversial bit: Kid's story. In this short, an alienated, skate-boarding teenager commits suicide because he can't handle the world in which he's living. Of course, he's in the Matrix and suicide is his only way out of it and into the real world, but it's the fact that suicide is presented in such a positive light that makes Kid's story so unusual. And controversial. There are enough suicidal teenagers out there who don't need much of a push to do the deed. It's unlikely that this will provide the impetus but you never know.

Conclusion bit: The animatrix is good for filling in the history of The Matrix, including how it all came about, but there's not nothing that you need to know that you didn't learn from The Matrix itself. What you get is an impression of life under the rule of the machines and it turns out to be a lot like living under the communists in the Soviet Union. Even in the most mundane of homes there is an element of fear, an element of untruth. For the die-hard fan The animatrix is the perfect teaser for The Matrix reloaded but for anyone else it's just general weirdness. Make up your own mind whether you need to see it.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen 16:9
  • Subtitles: English

Security censorship classification

M (Low level violence)

Surveillance time

101 minutes (1:41 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 8 May 2003
DVD rental: 3 June 2003
VHS rental: 3 June 2003

Cinema surveillance images

The animatrix image

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