Ladies and gentlemen, our hero.
1 to protect us... 2 to inspire us... 3 to define us... 4 to teach us... 5 to guide us... 6 to lead us... 7 to defend us... 8 to guard us... 9 to save us.
The title 9
refers to two computer-animated
movies, both directed by Shane Acker:
- The Academy Award-nominated short, released in 2005.
- The movie, produced by Tim Burton (who saw the original short and loved it), released on 9th September 2009. Note, however, that Acker designed, directed and co-wrote both films with Burton providing the financing. You can see the trailer here.
The main characters are sackdolls, or ragdolls depending on who you ask, though two are made from garden gloves. The creator, Shane Acker, has officially dubbed
". This has generally become the term for them in fandom.
In both cases, the plot follows a stuffed sackdoll, simply known by the number 9
painted onto his back, as he attempts to survive in an Alternate Universe
where humanity has been wiped out.
The short was released first, and chronicles 9's attempts to defeat an unnamed mechanical creature, who killed 5, his one-eyed mentor
, and the other dolls, and retrieve the machine's soul-stealing device
. The film, while ambiguous about the setting, was praised for its storyline and plot.
The movie expands
on the short considerably; Nine awakens alone in a burned out house in the ruins of a city, with no clue to his origins except a mysterious talisman. He begins to explore the wasteland and quickly encounters both the Cat-Beast and his own numbered compatriots (each of whom is more fully fleshed out as a character). Soon, they are drawn into an exploration of both humanity's destruction and their own origins as a terrible enemy hunts them down to consume their souls.
Both contain examples of:
- Adorable Abomination: Some of the stitchpunks.
- After the End
- Apocalypse How: At least a Class 3a extinction but possibly ranging up from a Class 4 extinction event to a Class 5 as the planet appears to be devoid of any life whatsoever besides the dolls and the machines. However, whether the entire planet is like this or just the small portion where the movie takes place is unknown. The ending seems to suggest heavily Class 5. What with all of the dolls except 9, 7, 3, & 4 gone, and as the dead ones ascend into the sky, it starts raining, showing a close-up of some sort of microorganisms in said raindrop.
- Cats Are Mean: The Cat Beast in both incarnations, with its movie version's savagery being upped to eleven.
- Crapsack World: It's a crappy world for these sackdolls.
- Cue the Sun: Both films end at dawn.
- Desolation Shot
- Four-Fingered Hands
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Cat Beast has a glowing cybernetic red left eye as well as flashlight installed in its right eye socket.
- Gory Discretion Shot: To a point.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: The dolls seem to be small sentient robots made out of scrap, possess some form of "soul" and look like they could, say, repair themselves with anything to hand. The machines that hunt them incorporate non-standard building materials, like animal skulls.
- The method of their creation seems to point towards their being some manner of primitive Hommunculi.
- Mechanical Monster
- Punk Punk: The movie, thanks to Shane Acker and The Steampunk Bible, technically coined a subgenre in Steam Punk called Stitchpunk.
- Right Behind Me: In abundance in the film, but prominently featured in the original short: as 5 is looking around for the Machine, the camera shifts to show his front and the Machine behind him readying its claws with Audible Sharpness. 5's eye gets wide and he assumes an expression we all know.
- Scenery Gorn: Multiple buildings reduced to rubble.
- Skull for a Head: The Cat Beast's head incorporates an actual cat skull.
- Soul Jar
- You Are Number Six: Even though the characters all had distinct personalities.
The short contains examples of:
The movie contains examples of: