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The Animatrix

The Matrix is a great movie. The sequels have some great moments, but they are not great movies. The Animatrix is the best installment in the Matrix franchise. It’s a collection of eight animated shorts about the Matrix universe. Each segment has it’s own style of animation. Four of the stories are related to the movies, and the other four are independent. If you liked the first movie and thought the sequels sucked, you should give this one a try, it might redeem your faith in the Matrix franchise.

Final Flight of the Osiris is a CG animated short that ties directly into the Matrix Reloaded. The animation is reminiscent of the Final Fantasy movie. The Second Renaissance is a two-part film that explores how the machines came to dominate man. It’s pretty much a history lesson on how the Matrix universe was formed. B1-66ER will haunt your dreams. Kid’s Story is a tale about that weird kid that wanted to carry Neo’s luggage in the second movie. It’s how he escaped the Matrix, and Neo makes an appearance. Really cool animation, kind of like Waking Life.

Program is an independent short; it has no bearing on the films. It’s about a chick named Cis being tested as to whether or not she wants to be in the real world or go back to Matrix. It’s my least favorite segment. World Record is about a sprinter who pushes his body and mind to the limit, escaping the Matrix and finding freedom. Beyond is about a girl who goes looking for her lost cat and finds a haunted house. The haunted house isn’t actually haunted, it’s just a glitch in the Matrix. It’s the best of the independent stories and one of the highlights of the Animatrix. It’s simply fantastic.

A Detective Story is a film noir short about a detective trying to track down Trinity. It’s set in the ‘30s or ‘40s, and it’s like the Maltese Falcon meets the Matrix, but it works. Matriculated is the last short and a disappointing way to end the Animatrix. It’s done by the same guy who did Aeon Flux, so imagine that style with weird Matrix robots. It’s about a group of humans who try to reprogram machines to help humans and not kill them. It’s not a bad story, but the Animatrix should end with a short that is more relevant to the Matrix films.

The Animatrix is the best installment in the Matrix franchise. And it’s the most overlooked. The Animatrix is worth buying, high praise in these days of illegal downloads. The Second Renaissance and Beyond are reason enough to buy it. Great animation and great stories add up to a great time. And you gotta admit that it has a clever title.

Critically Rated at 16/17

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