Once every few years something will happen in the film industry completely changes what we expect to see when we go to the cinema. In 1999 the Matrix showed us the new dimensions of movie making that we could expect to see for the next few years. However, it was not only the cutting edge ‘bullet time’ super effects that were so mind blowing. The post modernistic story that the Wachowski brothers created, gathered and instant cult following. The idea of the reality of reality being questioned so openly, the challenging of the concepts of semiotics, showed us that we should never accept what we perceive as real.
This was an incredible notion to connote to an audience that may or may not have been ready to accept them. This meant that creating a sequel to this film from the point where The Matrix ended, would be incredibly difficult considering the foundations of the first movie. To answer this problem the Wachowski brothers commissioned these nine animations to fill the gaps left by the first movie.
They are as follows:
The Final Flight Of The Osiris.
This is the first animation on the disk, however, I feel it should be at the end of the disk as it the animation that flows straight in to the story of Reloaded. It has been created by the people that made the 2000 film Final Fantasy – The Spirits Within and the CG used in it makes this worthy of gracing the big screen as part of Reloaded.
The Second Renaissance Part One.
This story is taken directly from the Zion archives. It tells of the birth of AI, rise of the machines and the founding of Zero one. It uses iconic imagery of our life times to show how truly violent the beginnings of the war are and how mistakes are remade again.
The Second Renaissance Part Two.
The second part of the renaissance charts the attempts to stop the machines ever growing power over the human race and the first battles of the war. We see how the machine begin to wield us as we die out and the founding of the matrix as there new source of power.
This is my personal favourite, simply because the animation is stunning. In this short, we see how self enlightenment can sometimes show us the way to things beyond our comprehension. In this case a boy yearning to be free of his reality.
This is one of my favourite shorts. It show how even outside the matrix in the real world, people still want to cling to there ordinary lives in the virtual world.
World Record took me a few viewings to really understand the underlying ideas of this animation. It follows an athlete as he tries to break his own personal best speed. And by doing so breaks out of the matrix itself.
What happens when the matrix fails to keep a constant in reality? Beyond shows how ordinary people can find the flaws in the program and perform acts that they could only imagine.
This is a sharp and classily animated story of how the agents try to entrap Trinity. Its comic book retro style and use of black and white imagery, give it a refined and polished image that sets it apart from the other animations.
What can I say about this one? Well one word sums it up, Insane. However, it raises an interesting idea that all individual machines have the own minds and it show how people are able to release a mechanical mind in the same way that a human mind can be released from the matrix.
So what over all does the Animatrix offer the viewer? Well it give answers to a lot of questions but this in turn gives rise to even more questions, not only about The Matrix, but about reality it self. I thoroughly recommend this DVD even to those who were not fans of the film because there is something to be gained from it by all who see it.