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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting Edge Animation for Matrix Fans
The Animatrix is a curiosity and it serves to highlight clearly the Wachowski brother's committment to this project. A series of short (each about ten minutes) animated adventures set in the world of the Matrix movies, The Animatrix explores the themes and possibilities of the movies using different techniques from CGI to traditional Anime.
As a fan of CGI the two...
Published on 18 Sept. 2003 by robulus

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Different edition than advertised
European version 1/5, US version 5/5

I'd rate this higher as it's a good item but not as advertised (The Animatrix [DVD] [2003], as far as I've been able to tell, does not actually exist); what is listed is confused with the Region 1 version - the Region 2 one you're likely to get (The Animatrix [DVD] [2003]) does not contain a Japanese audio track but...
Published on 5 Jan. 2012 by Conrad Black

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting Edge Animation for Matrix Fans, 18 Sept. 2003
robulus (Annandale, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
The Animatrix is a curiosity and it serves to highlight clearly the Wachowski brother's committment to this project. A series of short (each about ten minutes) animated adventures set in the world of the Matrix movies, The Animatrix explores the themes and possibilities of the movies using different techniques from CGI to traditional Anime.
As a fan of CGI the two standout pieces for me were "Last Flight of the Osiris" and "Matriculated". "Last Flight of the Osiris" (from the team responsible for "Final Fantasy") is jaw dropping state of the art hyper-real CGI. It is obvious that much of the Matrix Reloaded was produced in this way. The opening scene is absolutely delicious as two very attractive CGI characters disrobe eachother in a virtual martial arts sword fight. The piece goes on to illustrate a link between the first two movies in the Matrix trilogy.
But the one that really got me was "Matriculated". An astounding blend of CGI and handrawn animation this film really explores the possibilities of the medium and the results are mind-blowing, and quite psychadelic in places. A curious story about a group of humans who attempt to convert machines to their cause, "Matriculated" really pushes the boundaries. For hardcore fans it is worth owning the DVD for these two pieces alone, however the other pieces are excellent too, using more standard animation techniques to tell their stories. Those with a passing interest in the Matrix movies will probably be happier just renting The Animatrix.
If you are unfamiliar with Anime it is worth noting that it often contains strong violence and sexual material, and the Animatrix is no exception. One scene in particular depicted violence against a robot made to look like a human woman and I found this quite uncomfortable to watch.
After watching The Animatrix I am left feeling confident that despite the unexpected success of the first Matrix movie, the Wachowski brothers are committed to bringing the Matrix to the World with integrity. A lot of people have been disappointed in the second movie, but seen in the context of an action packed comic book sci-fi saga it all makes sense, and its really working for me. It is not going to be to everyone's taste, but this is to the directors' credit, not to their detriment.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Animatrix Blu Ray, 26 April 2010
TMUK (UK) - See all my reviews
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A series of 9 short stories that weave into the matirx world. Beautifully animated using various animation from CGI through to cell shading. Picture is full 1080P with a multi channel Dolby TrueHD English audio as well as Multi channel Dolby digital Brazillian Portuguese, French, Italian and Latin Spanish. A whole raft of ectras include the making of each short and a scrolls to screen extra that look briefly at the history and culture of Anime.

Excellent Blu Ray running in at 1 hour 40 minutes
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Animatrix, 5 July 2003
This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
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.
Kids Story.
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.
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.
Detective story.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!!!, 15 Jun. 2003
This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
These short animations are pure works of art. Several, particularly the first 3 really do enhance the matrix experience as they elucidate to some of the issues left out of the movies themselves, matrix reloaded could even start with the Final Flight of the Osiris in my opinion. The remaining animations provide mini stories inside the matrix that are not really linked to the main films, apart from The Kid maybe. However, with the exception of Program, they are all visually stunning and thought provoking. For example, Matriculated ends up being a story of unrequited love between a woman and a machine the final scene of which is quite disturbing.
There are many hidden messages and subconscious references to modern day society and human tragedy littered throughout these stories and this form of film is perfect for delivering these subtle messages. This gives the DVD a very good replay level. In my opinion The Second Renaissance Parts 1 and 2 are the best, with a beautiful mix of artistic styles a very powerful message is delivered with lots of references to mans mistreatment of man and the environment. Coupled with a fantastic score that really enhances the experience one really gets a sense of how man sowed the seeds that bought about his own tragic demise, BRILLIENT!
This DVD can be enjoyed on so many different levels, even if one is not a fan of the Matrix. And at less than 12 quid what are you waiting for?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Stuff, 24 Jun. 2003
This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Animatrix includes 9 animated shorts that tie in with the Matrix movie trilogy and delve deeper into the origins, world and secrets of the Matrix universe.
Final Flight of the Osiris and Kid's Story explain a few things between the first two movies, including how Zion learned of the machine invasion on the subterranian city. Both are beautifully drawn and animated, Kid's Story being my favourite on this release.
The Second Renaissance Parts 1 & 2 explain the history of the Matrix, involving the original war between man and machine. While the script on this one is a little childish, the visuals are not.
Those familiar with anime and Korean animation will recognise the work of several favourites.
While some of the shorts don't visually fit the Matrix that well, they are still well produced and entertaining.
A must buy for all anime, Korean animation and Matrix fans alike, they will not be disappointed with this release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the poor spin off I expected!, 21 May 2003
This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Eagerly awaiting the sequel to the boundary breaking original matrix movie, I came across this spin off DVD featuring 9 animated short stories, each one showing a different angle on how the matrix works, and how it is possible to discover the reality.
No doubt the stand out piece is 'Final Flight of the Osiris'. I was slightly dissapointed because I incorrectly assumed that all the films would use the astonishingly real-to-life CGI seen in this short. The slightly embarrasing training fight where both combatants slice each others clothes off is completely overshadowed by the sheer realism of their movements and body definitions, at times you simply can't tell the difference between this short and real life actors.
The most facscintaing and informative shorts on the DVD are called 'The Second Renaissance' parts one and two. These shorts tell the fascintaing tale of how the world changed from how we are now, to the situation reached by the start of the original matrix film. The slightly scary aspect to the stories is that, despite perhaps the humans decision to 'burn the sky' in an attempt to stop the rebelling robots from recieving solar energy they require, I found it impossible to rule out that the story told couldn't happen in real life!
Dissapointingly, the rest of the tales pale in comparison and slightly poorer, less interesting stories such as 'World Record' and 'Detective Story' are told. Though 'Kids Story' is a well crafted and developed tale of a youngster who discovers the truth 'Neo-style', I personally didn't like animation used. All these stories do serve a purpose though, once you've watched them all you'll probably have more unanswered questions about this clouded world than you did previosuly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matrix Overload! Short stories, video game and two sequels!, 14 May 2003
Imran Ali "Imran Ali" (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Wow, forget trailers - you only need to see a couple of these short Matrix-themed movies to wet your appetite for the sequels Reloaded and Revolutions.
For someone who is'nt really familiar with anime or the Matrrix universe (I've only seen the first movie once), I found these shorts to be great self-contained stories, with some stunning animation and aesthetics.
The two-parter 'The Second Renaissance' is an evocative and disturbing prequel, of sorts, to the movie trilogy. The opening episode portrays the machines in an almost sympathetic light as they are subject to discrimination and slavery - one shocking scene depicts the brutal gang-murder of a female robot; a jarring and disturbing scene. Part I closes with the machines peacefully seeking to establish their own nation. The second segment of this story depicts the opening of the war with the machine nation, wryly named Zero-One, the 'scorching of the sky' and their radicalisation against humanity. Indeed, even as the machines rise to dominate Earth, they see the creation of the Matrix as a last chance at salvation for mankind; to enter into a symbiotic relationship between man and machine and establish a permanent peace of sorts.
'Program' is a great vignette in the style of the Neo/Morpheus training programme from the first movie. Two human rebels duel as they debate the merits of life in the Matrix and the 'real world'. The choreography and staging of these duels is stunning, combining the balletic martial arts from Crouching Tiger with the more kinetic and surreal physics of the Matrix movies.
'Detective Story' is set within the Matrix itself - the noirish style underlines how mature and flexible a medium anime can be for storytelling. Indeed, this segment includes one of the key characters, Trinity, from the movies.
As a whole, Animatrix is a real testament to the extent to which diverse artistic voices and creative talent can keep a franchise fresh.
The various US, Korean and Japanese talents behind these shorts have interpreted the Wachowski's universe and created stories with unique visual and narrative styles - extending and enhancing the original story-world with new perspectives and aesthetic sensibility.
I cannot imagine George Lucas allowing other filmmakers to interpret and reinvent Star Wars. The Lucasfilm and Star Trek people could learn a little from Animatrix and understand how their tired, homogenised sci-fi vehicles could be reborn, if new artists and talents are encouraged to play in their story-worlds without being beholden to a 'story-bible'.
Indeed, this is a great analogy of big-media versus the indie artist...and allowing fair-use of copyrighted material to create new works and explore a medium...but hey, that's *another* story...'ll be interesting to see how the coming series of Star Wars shorts - 'The Clone Wars' - will fare against the amazing creative quality and narrative depth of Animatrix.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars animatrix uneven but rocks, 27 Jun. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
First let me say that I *am not* a fan of animae. I love animation, but I guess I'm really too old to get into the Japanese style. That said, I had to say that I loved most of the Animatrix. The story telling is well done and some of the animation (espeicaly Osiris) is phenomenal. There are some stories that are less compelling than others, but for the most part the collection is worthwhile for anybody really interested in the mythology of the Matrix. I also believe there are hints in these short films about some of the unanswered questions about Neo. I would suggest that viewers pay particular attention to "Matriculated." It's definitely wacked in terms of style and story, but I think it potentially contains some clues as to what's going on with Neo. I won't say more because I don't want to be a spoiler. Second Renaissance parts one and two are also incredible. The animation and storyline are compelling and really shift your whole outlook about man-machine relations. Unlike the other reviewers, I found Detective to be thin. I did find "The Kid" to be really really interesting. I think the weakest short is the one about the athlete. From what I can see at this point it really didn't add anything to the back story nor did it supply any hints to the future.
All together, I would definitely recommend the Animatrix for anyone who loves piecing together thought puzzles, animation, or loves the whole idea of the Matrix.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ani-[insert hilarious pun here], 5 Jan. 2004
This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Firstly, apologies for the length of this review - but in my defence, there is an awful lot to say. As you already know, having read the review (you did read it didn't you? They're generally over-positive to boost sales but they're really very good), the animatrix is a collection of 9 short, animated stories set in the world of the matrix. They were made by different directors most of them Japanese, and so the style is mostly animé, although the style of the animation in each case is very distinctive. Three of the stories were written by the Wachowski brothers (writer-directors of the Matrix trilogy), and provide back-story to certain elements of the films. The others are more stand alone stories, but will still require an affinity with at least the first film, to which they are most closely related, to appreciate.
The total playing time for the collection is only 89 minutes, so the animations are fairly short. This means that each is a very brief affair, and means there is only so much characterisation and detailed story-telling that can be done in each. For me this detracted from the enjoyment slightly, but I still enjoyed it immensely. Some of the cast (Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss) of the films provided voice-overs for their characters in the Animatrix, but mostly the animations feature characters not in the films. Over-all the DVD is excellent, featuring fantastic art and imaginative stories which, fans of the Matrix will be pleased to hear, fit in with the over-all style of the franchise fairly well. The only issues which stopped it from receiving five stars from me were the unsatisfying shortness of each animation - when something's this good, you always want more, the headache I got while watching one of them (I think it was Kid's Story) as the camera angle on bright green text kept flipping, and the enormous confusion my poor, mortal brain suffered at the hands of the monstrously dreamlike, largely close to abstract, Matriculated. However, in order to get a decent impression of this product, because the individual films are so different, you really need a mini-review on each, so that's what I'll provide.
ANIMATRIX ANIMATIONS REVIEWED [in order of appearance on disk]
Final Flight of the Osiris: This comes, chronologically, immediately before the beginning of the second film, Reloaded. It details, aptly, the final flight of the Osiris, the ship that first discovers the sentinel army digging its way down to Zion. The animation here is very impressive computer-animation. Not quite up to the standards set by Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, but very much indebted to it. I did like this one, but the somewhat pointless acrobatics (in the first film, while the cartwheels, backflips and impossible jumps were very impressive, they were never entirely without reason), and the near lack of story (two members of crew realise they're in love, find sentinels, try to get message out, manage but the ship is destroyed - it's a story I suppose, but it didn't seem like it when watching). 7/10
The Second Renaissance (Parts 1/2): From an animation point of view, probably my favourite of the lot - a truly beautiful blend of computer-generated and hand drawn, telling the story of the creation of the machines, their revolt against their masters, and the eventual enslavement of the human race. These two stories are told in pseudo-biblical voiceover in the form of a 'historical document' existing in Zion. It's main twist on the Matrix as we know it is that the machines are portrayed as being far more human than the clinical, alien sentinels, making the holocaust-reminiscient persecution of them by the humans rather disturbing. If you like the books of Isaac Asimov you'll love this. 9/10
Kid's Story: Not my favourite this one. The animation is hand-drawn and fairly realistic, and though impressive, it's not the nicest style to look at. This tells the story of 'Kid' - the obsessed-fan of Neo in Reloaded. A school-kid hacker, he is shown glimpses of the truth by Neo, who then calls him on his mobile (in lesson, how inconvenient) to tell him that agents are after them. Can he get out before they kill him or change his memories? Well guess why don't you - he's in the film. 6/10
Program: Some stunning art here, particularly at the opening and on the rooftop. A woman is in her favourite simulation program, fighting a small army of horse-riding attackers who fire burning arrows at her. A crew member arrives, telling her that he's going back into the Matrix, and that it's 'all sorted with them'. It's a test of her faith in The Truth, but how will she cope with his proposition of her joining him, particularly as he says he loves her? Featuring a classic 'it was all a dream' ending, Matrix style. 8/10
World Record: Answers with the question of whether or not someone can awaken from the Matrix under their own steam and without being told about it. A world-class athlete experiences a spiritual awakening while breaking world records, but the agents are out to stop him. Again, not my favourite style of animation, but pretty good all the same. 7/10
Beyond: This one's a little weird, but still great. A young girl goes looking for her missing cat and finds a run-down haunted house where the rules of gravity apply in strange ways, letting the local kids invent games involving jumping from great height onto the floor, only to stop just above the ground. To begin with I thought the kids were special, like the 'potentials' in the first film. However it turns out the explaination and resolution of the story is rather different. Features another class 'was it all a dream' ending. 8/10
A Detective Story: A beautiful Matrix-universe film noir, animated stunningly purely in noir et blanc, this film involves a detective (who also narrates the story) being hired by a mysterious person on the end of a phone to hunt for a certain... Trinity. Featuring more of those Alice in Wonderland references Matrix fans know and love, and some great art, this is a favourite of mine. 8/10
Matriculated: The last of the 9, this is just totally bizarre. The animation is slightly similar to The Second Renaissance, but the story is totally different. In it, a crew of a ship is attempting to defeat the machines by persuading them to join forces with them. To do this they plug themselves in, and enact 'dreams' for robots they've captured involving some seriously mad imagery. This one raises the same questions about the possibility of the consciousness of machines and their ability to feel as have been raised many times in the past, but is just too darn bonkers to be truly likeable. 6/10
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gives good extra info on the Matrix, 20 Oct. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
The Matrix films so far have raised more questions than they have answered i feel, the Animatrix answers some of those questions and raises new ones, and i think it is a great addition to the movies, i will review the 9 stories individually:
Final Flight of the Osiris: This is a sort of prequel to the Matrix Reloaded and tells the story of a ship, The Osiris, that discovers the machines digging down towards Zion, they have to warn the city, but have the problem of being chased by about 100 sentinels. The animation in this short is the most sophisticated, and it is one of the best of the 9 shorts. 4 stars
The Second Renaissance parts 1&2: These are two excellent shorts that show how the machines came to be in control of the humans, i.e, the events leading up to the enslavement of mankind. Two very good stories with some good action and can be brutal at times, i've also heard they have a link to the ending of Revolutions. 5 stars each
Kids Story: This is the story of how the character 'The Kid' in the Matrix Reloaded breaks out of the Matrix. I really liked the animation in this one, everything is made to look like something out a dream, which is what the Matrix is meant to be like, strange ending thought. 3 stars
Program: Tells of how someone training within a Matrix program falls in love with a programmed character, that has she thinks has done something to betray the humans, quite good, but not the best. 3 stars
World Record: This short tells of how an olympic runner wakes up from the Matrix through sheer willpower, also has a confusing ending, but listen to the commentary on it and you'll know why. I cant put my finger on a reason but i just love this short, i really enjoy it every time i watch it. 5 stars
Beyond: In my opinion the worst of the shorts, and the one i have watched the least. Some kids discover a 'haunted house' which is really a glitch in the Matrix program, they have plenty of fun there, until exterminators show up to spoil the fun. 2 stars
Detective Story: Back to form on this one. A detective is hired by an anonymous person to track down Trinity, and discovers all sorts of surprises along the way, very good. 4 stars
Matriculated: Humans capture a machine and try to 'convert' (not reprogramme as other reviews suggest) it to be human friendly using a form of virtual reality to sort of fool it. But they didnt know the machine had a tracer. Will it help them when more machines come? Again very good. 4 stars
Extras are also quite good, i highly recommend the purchase of this to Matrix fans.
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