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"Animatrix" is a compilation of nine animated shorts, released in 2003, that are somewhat tied into the storyline of the 1999 sci-fi action film "The Matrix" by the Wachowski brothers.

In that film, in a world controlled by machines, where mankind has become a living race of batteries “plugged” into a virtual world where they do not even realize their own fate, a computer nerd, “Neo”/ Mr. Anderson, is “The One” destined to free mankind from ’bot bondage. The film featured hip characters dressed in pleather, sporting wrap-around shades, spouting paradoxical, pretentious puffery on the nature of life, while engaged in visually arresting, computer augmented, Hong Kong action-movie style fights. The first movie rocked! Unfortunately, the live-action sequels were so mired in the paradoxical, pretentious puffery that they turned the franchise into an overblown, convoluted mess.

Enter “Ani-Matrix”. While two of the shorts ("The Second Renaissance" parts 1 and 2) feature a tale of what led to Man’s enslavement by robots, i.e., mankind didn’t validate the sentient nature of the machines it created (in some ways it plays out like the US not fully recognizing Japan, the country it rebuilt after WWII), most segments seem to be rather slavishly crafted for coolness, and only very lightly touch on any of the motifs in the original live-action films. Which plays more to the strength of the first movie, while not getting too stuck in the subsequent ponderous plot. My favorite shorts are "Program", "World Record", and "A Detective Story". Though they all speak of Man’s innate, inborn desire for freedom despite the restrictions he puts on himself, I have to say I’m more drawn to their stylish good looks.

Program 01

World Record 01

Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

Presentation 8.65/10   Collection 9.12/10   Overall 8.70/10   Votes 65 votes
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