DVD release: June 3, 2003
By Todd Bunker, Sr. Editor
Few filmmakers enjoy the monetary luxury of being able to fully explore the different facets of their movie/story ideas. The Wachowski brothers, however, were able to turn the surprise success of “The Matrix” into a sort of multimedia empire which appears to have no end in sight. The Animatrix, nine short, animated films in the vein of the movie trilogy, brings together some of the biggest names in anime and CG animation and lets them work their magic in the ephemeral world of “The Matrix”.
The results are a mixed bag of historical backstory, character study and random tangents. While some of the stories are fairly flat, standouts in the anime vein include the visually stunning “Matriculated”, from Peter Chung of MTV’s “Aeon Flux” fame, as well as “A Detective Story”, which showcases “Cowboy Bebop” director Shinichiro Watanabe’s excellent character development and storytelling style. “Final Flight of the Osiris” from director Andy Jones, on the other hand, is CG at it’s mind-blowing, near-realistic best. As with a lot of adult-themed animation, the violence in the stories is far too graphic at times, and there are the requisite girl-in-skimpy-panties in more stories than not.
So while it might be difficult for non-fans of animation or “The Matrix” to sit through all nine stories in a row, the disc is sure to please the hard-core crowd, and be even more entertaining after indulging in the mind-altering substance of your choice. – (6/10)
(Todd Bunker is a NadaMucho.com Sr. Editor and the author of Wrapped In Gray.)