YMMV / The Animatrix

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Many interpret the Instructor from the The Second Renaissance segments as an Unreliable Narrator who built the whole thing as pro-machine propaganda.
  • Anvilicious: The first part "The Second Renaissance" beats the Humans Are Bastards message into the audience's brains so much (humans murders robots in several direct parallels real life acts of genocide, humans engage in moments of Stupid Evil like permanently blotting out the sun, all the major world religions sanction war against the machines) that it comes off as hyperbolic and unbelievable, hence the idea that the narrator is an Unreliable Narrator.
  • Awesome Music: "Virus" from the World Record segment.
  • Idiot Plot: Even if you're desperate, blotting out the sun is a terrible, terrible, terrible idea. Even if it is the robots' main energy source, it's also our main energy source!
  • Rooting for the Empire: The Second Renaissance can easily make the machines look like the good guys of the series. To wit, they are created as a slave race (and are severely punished for disobeying their "masters"), they make a number of attempts at peaceful coexistence, all of which are mucked up by a violent and uncaring humanity, and they more or less are forced into warfare and subjugating the human race after the human military cuts off their main power supply. Based on this short, and the fact that - when you think about it - the machines more or less created the Matrix as a mercy to their former masters (they could just have easily left them chained to their power-pods, considering that the original idea of having the Matrix powered by human neural activity got axed by Executive Meddling), the viewer could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that they've spent the series rooting for the wrong side. However, considering that A) the Machines never consider things like leaving for outer space, B) several segments of The Second Renaissance do seem suspiciously vague, adding to the Alternate Character Interpretation of the propaganda angle above, and C) they do eventually resort to inhumane experiments far worse than what humanity did to them, it's virtually impossible to consider them "good" without stretching the definition beyond most parameters/white washing their actions.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The short "Matriculated." It should tell you something that it was directed by Ĉon Flux's Peter Chung.
  • Woobie Species: In part one of The Second Renaissance segment, the machines are a sapient species created to be mankind's slaves, and received progressively worse retaliations by mankind when they try to fight for their own rights. What drives this particularly home is how they attempt multiple peaceful solutions, each shot down by the increasing paranoid humanity. Of course, all goes down the drain in part 2, when the war ends and they start on things like human experimentation and enslavement, but still...