The cast of 9 and associated tropes for each.
Stitchpunks (counted down from 9 to 1)
"To Save Us"The main character of the film and short film, 9 is the final creation of the Scientist before his death. A young, spirited, and adventurous person, 9 also has vast curiosity, which unfortunately leads to the awakening of the Fabrication Machine that had previously destroyed humanity and now wants the Stitchpunks' souls. He tries to right his wrongs and gradually becomes the leader of the Stitchpunks.
Voiced by Elijah Wood
- The Chosen One: He is the least flawed of the Scientist's creations, so the Scientist chose to entrust him with the talisman.
- Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: If he hadn't placed the talisman on the machine, it really would have made things easier for everyone.
- Guile Hero: No, really. Fair enough, he does make a pretty big mistake, but he does have a manipulative streak as well.
- The Hero: Although 1 is the de facto leader on account of his number, 9 tends to perform most of the non-violent heroics on-screen.
- Heroic BSOD: Goes through a miniature one following 5's death.
- Idiot Hero: Varies. He's actually pretty resourceful. However, he can also show a lack of common sense, which proves deadly when coupled with his natural curiosity.
- Love at First Sight: 9 appeared to have this for 7.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The first chance he gets, 9 sticks the talisman into an outlet without thinking about it at all. This not only kills 2, but wakes up the Fabrication Machine.
- Non-Action Guy: 9 is mostly pulled along by 7 during the action sequences.
- Protagonist Title
- Really Was Born Yesterday: By the end of the film, 9 has been awake for a day and a half, at most. It was one eventful day.
- Too Dumb to Live: Or, more accurately, he's too dumb for those around him to live.
- He does grow out of it as things become serious.
- Took a Level in Badass: 9's role in the first action scene is to watch from a can as 2 fights off the cat creature. From there, he steadily gains courage (but not much combat ability). At the end of the film, he runs right up to the machine, sticks the soul-draining device right in its face and takes back his friends' souls while destroying the Machine for good.
"To Guard Us"The largest of the Stitchpunks, 8 is the muscle of the group, yet lacks intelligence and remains faithful to 1 not only as his bodyguard but also his only friend. He follows 1's orders loyally and often bullies the other Stitchpunks. However, what 8 lacks in brains, he more than makes up in sheer brawn and is quite strong and daring, wielding a large sword made from a butcher's knife, as well as half of a pair of scissors and a magnet which he uses for... questionable reasons.
Voiced by Fred Tatasciore
- Anti-Hero: 8 is on the good guys' side, but his questionable loyalty to 1 and tendency to Kick the Dog put him squarely in this territory.
- Badass: When faced with a large flying monster coming straight at him, he grunts, puts on his visor and throws his sword at it.
- BFS: By 6-inch-tall doll standards, anyway: a kitchen knife and half a pair of scissors.
- The Big Guy: Standing taller than any other Stitchpunk, 8 is also their designated combat specialist, carrying the heaviest weapons in the group. Also does the heavy lifting.
- Cool Helmet: He puts a makeshift faceguard on for about 5 seconds during the fight with the Winged Beast.
- Cool Sword: TWO. A blade attached to a sewing needle and a SCISSOR BLADE.
- Died Happily Ever After: During the funeral scene at the end. He gives off a huge friendly grin before dissipating.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: His magnet is a none-too-subtle stand-in for drugs. He also physically resembles the ghost from the Ghostbusters logo.
- Dumb Muscle: Compared with the others, 8 is as thick as a brick. This seems to be a side-effect of magnet abuse.
- Fantastic Drug: He's a little too fond of that magnet.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He gives a friendly smile to the surviving Stitchpunks before his spirit ascends.
- Kick the Dog: Several moments. In fact, aside from fighting, 8 seems to spend most of his time being needlessly cruel to the others.
- The Quiet One: He says five and a third words in the entire film. note He says a few more things in deleted scenes.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Tosses his scissor blade at the Winged Beast, throwing it into a Turbine Blender and forcing it to land.
- Undying Loyalty: To 1. He seems to be the only one who gives 1's authority any weight, seemingly due to his low intelligence.
"To Defend Us"The only female Stitchpunk, 7 is an independent and strong-hearted warrior. She left the Sanctuary to hunt down the Cat-Beast and discover the truth of the barren world, something which 1 did not agree with and two have been at odds ever since. Spending a vast amount of time in the wasteland allowed 7 to teach herself how to fight and survive, sporting a crow's skull for a helmet and using a spiked staff and other weapons to fight.
Voiced by Jennifer Connelly
- Action Girl: Damn straight.
- Action Girlfriend: Acts as this to 9 during the action sequences.
- Badass: Establishes her badassery by leaping in and cutting through an enemy.
- Blade on a Stick: Literally, in fact. Looking closely at her polearm reveals that it's actually a craft knife blade tied to a clock hand.
- Cool Helmet: She wears a crow skull as a helmet.
- Implied Love Interest: To 9.
- Lady of War: Really, only 8 is as combat-ready as she is.
- The Lancer: 7 and 5 take turns being this for 9.
- Mama Bear: To 3 and 4.
- Pale Females, Dark Males: She's white, and the palest of all the stitchpunks. It's hinted that her fabric has faded in the sun, though even when she appears in flashback, she's a paler color than 1.
- Plucky Girl: She doesn't let defeat or setbacks get her down... too much.
- Samus is a Girl: Her gender isn't clear until she starts talking, what with the lack of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only female sackdoll of the group.
- Team Mom: 7 seems to be this to 3 and 4, if not to the rest of the group.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics / Non-Mammal Mammaries: Averted. Like with Tigress from Kung Fu Panda, there are some clues (her hands are smaller, for example), but they're very subtle and easy to miss without her voice serving as a clue.
- Three-Point Landing: It's on her character poster and everything.
"To Lead Us"The oddball of the group, 6 is in his own world most of the time, painting seemingly obscure drawings which are actually of the talisman used in the film to bring the characters to life. He is actually an oracle figure, having prophetic visions which he expresses in his drawings; 9 is the only Stitchpunk to believe them, although 2 and 5 express interest. 6 has a unique appearance with uneven eyes, wild hair and fingers made from the nubs of ink pens. Because of his weird appearance and attitude, he is often avoided and ignored.
Voiced by Crispin Glover
- Cassandra Truth: No one seems to listen to him before 9.
- Cloudcuckoolander: No matter what's going on around him, all 6 can apparently think to do is draw a strange symbol. And his words are pretty limited. As such, nobody takes him seriously except 9.
- Mad Artist He's an artist, and his appearence and mannerisms make him come across as mad.
- Mad Eye: One of his eyes is bigger than the other to add to his mad look.
- Mad Oracle: His words turn out to be true, but their obscure nature and his madness garbles their meaning and importance.
- Madness Mantra: "Go Back to the Source..."
- The Quiet One: He doesn't say much, and when he does, he doesn't make a lot of sense.
- Room Full of Crazy: He has an entire wall covered in drawings of the MacGuffin.
- Shout-Out: Shane Acker has mentioned in an interview that he is a shout-out of sorts to Tim Burton.
- Waif Prophet: He's pretty small and skinny, even for a Stitchpunk.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: His hands are ink pen nubs and he seems to have no way to make anyone take him seriously. No wonder he spends all his time drawing.
"To Guide Us"The "middle man" of the group, 5 is a kind-hearted but fearful engineer, healer, and 2's assistant. Shortly after his awakening in the world, 5 was wounded in the war and lost his left eye, and was fixed up by 2 to sport an eyepatch of sorts. He acts as the watchtower guard in Sanctuary as well as the healer and peacemaker. He has strong friendships with most of the Stitchpunks, particularly with 2, 7, and 9.
Voiced by John C. Reilly
- Break the Cutie: Losing an eye, losing his mentor and coming close several times to losing his life causes 5 to appear glum most of the time.
- Cyclops: Subverted that he once had two eyes.
- Friendly Sniper: Extremely friendly and kind, but uses a crossbow to snipe at a few monsters. It only works against the Seamstress, though. Also, the way he found 9 was looking at the wasteland through a sniper reticle.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Him and 2, who is his mentor.
- The Lancer: 5 starts out as this, but sort of turns into The Chick after 7 shows up. Eventually, 7 takes over The Big Guy duty after 8 is killed, leaving 5 to pick up The Lancer role again.
- The Medic: He's always the one seen patching up the others if they're injured — first, 9's shoulder; then, 7's leg.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: In the short film. In the 2009 movie, he's less of a mentor figure and more a sidekick, but he still dies.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Initially he defaults to 1's leadership since "A group must have a leader." After a sharp reminder from 9, he decides to go with him, and eventually stops listening to 1 altogether.
- No Sense of Personal Space: It's the 9 drinking game! Take a drink every time 5 clings to 9! You'll die of alcohol poisoning by the end of the film.
- Shrinking Violet: Rare male example.
- Team Mom: The DVD commentary refers to him as the 'group mom'.
3 and 4
"To Define Us" and "To Teach Us"Mute identical twins, 3 and 4 left with 7 to learn the reason why the world is barren. Moving into an abandoned library, the two catalogued and analysed everything they found and formed an understanding of the city's history. They do not speak but rather communicate via their eyes and physical movements. They have the ability to project images and video clips from their eyes. They don't seem very comfortable outdoors.
- Ambiguous Gender: While the Russian dub of the film explicitly states that 3 and 4 contain the souls of The Scientist's twin sons, Word of God states that their sex (if they have any sex at all, that is...) is up to interpretation.
- Creepy Twins: Mostly because everything in this setting is creepy.
- Cute Bookworms: Unfortunately they don't get to read much in the movie.
- Cute Mutes: They don't speak with their mouths; it's possible they use a form of morse code to communicate with each other.
- Infant Immortality: Not even this film was going to kill the kids.
- In the Hood: They wear cowls to give them a scholarly appearance.
- No Sense of Personal Space: They attempt to examine 9's insides, causing him to flinch away from them; after that, they take an interest in his light-bulb staff instead.
- Older Than They Look: They behave like the youngest of the group, despite being the two oldest after 1 and 2.
- Single-Minded Twins: They move and act seemingly in unison, and are never seen apart.
"To Inspire Us"A frail inventor, 2 is a curious and adventurous person and is seemingly fearless. 1 deliberately sent him out into the wasteland to die, believing him to be a threat to the safety of Sanctuary. He is kind, caring, generous and uses the world's scattered remains to build inventions. He is close friends with 5.
Voiced by Martin Landau
- Blade on a Stick: He has a makeshift spear as a weapon, which he uses during his fight with the cat creature.
- Cool Old Guy: Aside from his elderly-sounding voice, his first scene involves him demonstrating his Gadgeteering Genius by attaching a voice-box to 9.
- Gadgeteer Genius: His Nice Hat is only one of his many inventions.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Him and 5, who is his apprentice.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: He doesn't get much screentime, but he's still the first person 9 meets, and the one who fixes his voicebox. It's shown that he played this role to 5 as well.
- Mr. Fixit: His apparent raison d'etre, as each of the 9 had a role to play designated by the Scientist.
- Nice Hat: Really. And yes, that's a candle and a glasses lens fixed onto it.
- Sacrificial Lamb: He's nice to 9, then gets grabbed by the Cat Beast, eventually gets rescued by 5, 7, and 9, and then immediately gets killed by Mr. Fab. He's the first of the Stitchpunks to be killed, too.
- The Smart Guy: Above and beyond the most intelligent of the Stitchpunks.
"To Protect Us"The leader of the Stitchpunks, 1 is a dogmatic and cowardly person, but asserts his authority over the others and likes to subjugate them. However, he also does want what is best for them — most of the time. He wears a hat, cloak, and wields a staff to separate himself from the others. 1 follows the belief that "sometimes one must be sacrificed for the good of many", which leads to clashes with other Stitchpunks, like 7 and 9.
Voiced by Christopher Plummer
- Anti-Hero: 1 isn't a villain by any stretch, but calling him a straight up hero would gloss over his obnoxious personality and somewhat questionable leadership decisions.
- Break the Haughty: On three occasions: a) when his cathedral burns down; b) when 8 goes missing; and c) when 2 gets a mock funeral service. In each case, his normally dour visage cracks.
- Dirty Coward: Not that he's entirely unjustified, but still...
- Famous Last Words: "They left us nothing. Nothing. Why do we have to right their wrongs? Sometimes one must be sacrificed."
- Fear Is the Appropriate Response: The Trope Namer. He's not wrong.
- Foreshadowing: He said that "sometimes one must be sacrificed for the good of many", and he did end up sacrificing himself.
- Grumpy Old Man: Grumpy? Yes. Old? Yes. Man? Debatable.
- Hypocrite: Subverted. When he justifies trying to sacrifice 2 by saying one must sometimes be sacrificed for the good of many, he does include himself, as proven by his Heroic Sacrifice at the end.
- Jerkass: He has no problem letting us know about it, either.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Can count as this in his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Leader Wannabe: He's in charge because of his number, but only 8 seems to respect his authority; the others tend to default to 9's judgment instead.
- Nice Hat: Its similarity to a bishop's miter earned him his nickname.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: He forbids 9 and 5 from going to save 2, insisting it's too dangerous. He is Vindicated by History when 9 not only fails to save 2 as 1 predicted, but awakens the Fabrication Machine.
- Redemption Equals Death: Say what you like about him when he's alive, he gets a lot more noble when the shadow of death looms.
- Simple Staff: Similar to a bishop's staff.
- Taking the Bullet: He lets his soul be absorbed by the Machine to give 9 the opening to destroy it once and for all.
- Ungrateful Bastard: In response to 9 saving his life by telling him to let go of his cape, he scoffs and tells his savior he owes him a new cape.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He believes in the precept of sacrificing a single person for the good of many others. And as his death shows, he holds himself to the same standard as the rest of the group.
- Voiced by Alan Oppenheimer
- The Atoner: He feels like everything is his fault for creating the Fabrication Machine, which is why he created the nine Stitchpunks to bring life back to the world when all the humans were gone.
- Casting Gag: The reason Oppenheimer was cast was because he was related to Robert Oppenheimer, the Father of the Atomic Bomb, and similarly showed regret for creating this destructive force when others used it for... less than savory purposes.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Scientist intentionally gives his life and soul to bring the Stitchpunks to life.
- Video Wills: The Scientist leaves a video message for 9 instructing him how to kill the machine.
- Voiced by Tom Kane
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: The only thing his regime needs to be a Nazi state is the use of a slanted swastika.
- Evil Chancellor: He's a chancellor, and he's evil.
- Eye Scream: An early draft of the film's story featured a scuffle between the Scientist and the Chancellor in the beginning of the film, ending with both dead and the Chancellor with an inked quill stabbed into his eye.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His use of Mr. Fab mostly manages to make it angry, leading to the Robot War.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Chancellor does not physically resemble Hitler, but the similarities are readily apparent without a shared appearance.
The Fabrication Machine/The B.R.A.I.N
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Zigzagged. The Scientist claims the machine was flawed and dangerous because it had genius intellect and reasoning, but it had no soul and thus was up to corruption or reprogramming by its master, rather than acting based on a moral compass. Despite this, we see the machine fighting to defend its creator from the Chancellor's cronies, and it is driven to anger by the destruction of its creations.
- Berserk Button: Destroying its creations infuriates it.
- Big Bad: Usurps this role from the cat creature in the film.
- Cyber Cyclops: Its central core bears a striking similarity to the HAL-9000.
- The Determinator: Nothing is going to stop it from building. Or killing.
- Expy: Of GLaDOS. Firstly, its appearance to GLaDOS is uncanny; it first moves around by swiveling on a giant arm that is attached above and the glowing eye in a sphere is exactly like a more steampunk version of a GLaDOS personality core. Second, it 'attacks' with drones and machines, particularly gun-drones with machineguns, and finally it uses a deadly gas toxin (possibly a nerve gas) for an area of effect attack.
- Gadgeteer Genius: It makes robots fast without a lot of materials. It also seems to be good at programming AI.
- Genius Bruiser: ...and it has enough strength to knock over an artillery cannon with little effort. Before it was "upgraded", it broke someone's neck with one claw.
- Implacable Robot: Even after 5 blows up the factory it still chases them.
- Large Ham: Since it could only loosely be called a spider of some sort, the animators decided to base it's mannerisms on somewhat hammy actor performances, such as Vincent Price.
- Mook Maker: Its purpose.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: 9 limbs.
- Not So Stoic: Electricity surges across its casing when angry, and it gives a subtle Oh, Crap just before its factory is consumed in flames.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Just one eye, but the message gets through just fine.
- Sanity Slippage: The strain of constant work eventually broke its mind.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: And then 9 just had to go and wake it up...
- The Soulless: The Scientist believed it became violent because it lacked a human soul.
- The Dog Bites Back: Taken from its creator and driven mad by the strain of constant work, the Machine snapped and turned its creations against the humans, hell-bent on exacting vengeance.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The Scientist suggests he had the Machine making things that were not tools of war. The Chancellor had other ideas and it was all downhill from there.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: It may be an angry little kid who can't control his emotion, leading to a temper tantrum that destroyed humanity. This is supported by the Russian version where the Scientist said the Machine recognized him and let him live. Also somewhat supported by Word of God's description of it: an abused child who finally gets power to fight back.
- You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: How its creator ends up feeling about it; this is why it was created, but the Chancellor decided that didn't suit him.
- Your Soul Is Mine: What it tries to do to the stitchpunks and succeeds with five of them.
The Cat Beast/CSM
- Cats Are Mean: With all organic life dead and gone, the Cat Beast attacks the Stitchpunks for basically no reason.
- Off with His Head!: Delivered in spectacular badass fashion by 7.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Noticing a pattern here?
- Sickly Green Glow: Its eye color in the original short.
The Winged Beast
- Giant Flyer: Compared to our heroes, at least; it's probably about the size of a condor.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Like all the Machine's creations.
- Turbine Blender: How it gets dispatched.
- Attack Its Weak Point: It's got a red eye which gets destroyed by 5's crossbow bolt.
- Body Horror: She has the corpse of 2 sewed onto her tail. To make things worse, when she sews up stitchpunks to subdue them, she's pulling those threads through their bodies.
- Evil Genius: To a point. The Fabrication Machine's creations get progressively more intelligent as it continues to design, with the Cat Beast being the most primal and animal-like and the Seamstress being the most cunning.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: She gets ground between two huge cogs.
- Go for the Eye: How she goes down.
- Hypnotic Eyes: 2's body is sewn onto the creature's tail, and used to stun her prey using lights installed in his eyes, giving this effect.
- A monster who uses dead friends and freaky lights to ensnare her prey...
- Also, possibly, the Other Mother from Coraline, an earlier work of Focus Features. The Other Mother has an affinity for dolls, has sewing needles for hands, and is very snake/spider-like...
- Or even the scary octopus baby doll from Sid's room in Toy Story. Shane Acker stated that Pixar was one of his major influences, so it's pretty likely.