on June 18, 2003
Careful about buying this DVD. I just finished watching 70% of it at home, and multiple times throughout the DVD my wife and I wanted to turn it off. The first short is the best. Flight of the Osiris. Everything else is terrible, and now I know why the first short is the only one released to the theatres. Pretty obvious difference in quality between that and the others. Had they shown any of the others in the theatre, there would have been a stampede to the bathroom to hurl.
Yes, the rest of the DVD is that bad.
on June 21, 2003
As I sat through these short stories my eyelids got heavier and heavier. The pointless stories had me thinking "Why do I care so much about this?" And the answer was "I don't care." I love anime. That's why I watched the Animatrix. When anime goes bad it's REALLY bad. The problem many animes have is there's too much complicated chatter that the average person will hear as "blah blah blah." The dry dialog is enough to put anybody to sleep. The animation is beautiful. So the one star I'm giving it will stand for that. But at one point I felt as if I were watching "Final Fantasy." The characters and backgrounds look like they have been ripped directly from that movie. But it is clear that they did not have as much time to develop this story as they did on Final Fantasy because the animation is choppy and doesn't flow at all. The lips never match up to the voices and the faces have no emotion at all. All in all this DVD is a waste of time. What is happening is the story of the Matrix is being ruined by all this junk coming out. Toys, video games, TV shows, short stories, and worst of all, one sequel right after the other that only tells the exact same story the first movie told. End it already will you?
on June 18, 2003
I found the Animatrix really disappointing. Part One and Two of "The Second Renaissance" was just awful! These two animations tell the story of how mankind was conquered by the machines. There MAJOR flaws from beginning to end. For example, the narration mentions that the humans dropped nuclear weapons on the machine city with no effect because radiation has no effect on a machine. Yet, every nuclear bomb creates an EMP blast that kills all electrical equipment...something that they use in The Matrix movies...duh. Another example is that the machine run on solar power. What do humans do? Black out the sky. Hmmm, let's not bomb the solar panels first, right? Finally, my favorite example: the machines build their nation in the "Cradle of Civilization." They build their city in the Middle East...and as we all know, the Middle East is just FULL of peace and love and EVERYONE is open to EVERYONE their. A machine city smack in the Middle East would last as long as a snowball. Just utter stupidity!
There are plenty more stupid moments that just do not seem possible. I mean, they are utterly ridiculous. I expected better from the Warchowski Brothers.
on May 7, 2003
I've seen a good chunk of this on the web and other places, and all I can say is WOW.
What is the Animatrix? In a nutshell, it is a collection of short Matrix stories that are animated. And the cool thing about it is that they're all mostly animated in different ways. (A few are done in anime, another in full CG, some just plain old animation, and others a mix of 2 or a mix of three of the above.)
The DVD will have nine (9) episodes to watch. Here's a quick overview of the ones I know a lot about and/or have seen:
1) THE SECOND RENNAISANCE, PARTS 1 and 2: This is a 2-parter that fills is all of the backstory that happened before the first Matrix film. It chronciles how the machines were made, how they took control, the war between the humans and the machines, and the creation of the Matrix. (Made in plain animation)
2) PROGRAM: Most of this one is fashioned and made like an Akira Kurosawa film. It's basically a duel between two samuari-like warriors in a matrix program where the setting is ancient Japan. (Made in anime)
3) WORLD RECORD: This one is basically about an extremely fast runner that can "run out of the Matrix and in to the real world" just because of pure strength/speed.
4) DETECTIVE STORY: This story, animated in black and white, fills in the critical backstory of the Trinity character from the movies. Includes voice acting by actress Carrie-Anne Moss.
5) FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS: Basically, this is a 9-minute completely CG animated story that serves as a prequel to "The Matrix Reloaded" and "Enter the Matrix (GAME)." It begins as a blindfold sword duel and then escalates in to a ship chase with sentinels. This one has great action and great plotting, as well as convincing animation (Think "Final Fantasy," except 10 times more realistic.) I saw this one in the theatre. WOW!!!
There are a few more, entitled KID'S STORY, MATRICULATED, and BEYOND.
JUDGING FROM THE TRAILER, MATRICULATED is an extremely wierd episode with a mix of CG animation and regular animation.
BEYOND follows a group of kids in to a "haunted" house. Agents find them and capture them because of they're too close to finding out something secret.
KID'S STORY is about a boy running from agents. (That's all I could gather from the trailer.)
For more information, watch the trailer on the web. Thanks for reading!
on March 27, 2013
...The case was damaged when I received it. I ordered new, but when it came I received the DVD in a separate little DVD package in the case, since the clasp for unknown reasons was snapped off. This is the first time I received a 'new' DVD that had a damaged case, and obviously the shippers knew this, hence the little blue package.
Other than the horrid condition of the case, I was pleased to have finally received this to add it to my collection, since I'm re-purchasing the Matrix series due to an incident that lead to me losing a lot of good movies, the Matrix Trilogy included. Hopefully the Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions DVDs will arrive in the expected 'new' condition.
The highlights of this DVD are 'The Second Renaissance', 'A Detective Story' (directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, director of my favourite anime Cowboy Bebop), and 'Final Flight of the Osiris'; though the other shorts are good too. One of the things I liked about these shorts was the dark tones each one of them conveyed. Another thing was the variety in animation styles--absolutely awesome! It's no wonder that this film's style of individual story-telling inspired greats like Batman: Gotham Knight and Halo Legends (both of which I also own), although all three of these films contain at least one short that wasn't very good.
All in all, this is worth owning for any Matrix fan. Just be warned that this film (especially 'The Second Renaissance') are absolutely NOT for kids. They'd get nightmares from this stuff, unless Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil raised them from infancy.
I rate it **** out of *****
on July 1, 2004
I figured this was just another spin off of the Matrix series. Around the time Reloaded was released, there was so much publicity and overexposure that with the video game and everything else, that I never took this seriously enough to actual watch. Now, about a year later I decided to give it a chance. I was suprised when some of the stories from this collection were actually good and explained some things that the movie didn't.
Final Flight Of The Osiris:
Explains what happened to the Osiris fleet while delivering the message about the machines digging to Xion. Amazingly lifelike 3D animation.
The Second Renaissance (Part I & Part II):
Explains the history between man and machine leading up to the creation of the Matrix and humans being used for an energy source.
Explains how "Kid" from Reloaded got freed from the Matrix. He is the one in the movie that carries Neo's bags.
A girl is forced to choose between returning to the Matrix with her love or death if she does not cooperate.
Kinda confusing, but what I gathered from it is that a runner learns to break the laws of the Matrix to break a world record and is being watched by agents to make sure he doesn't figure anything out.
A story that shows how a possible bug in the Matrix relates to a seemingly haunted building and how it gets covered up while a girl is searching for her lost cat.
A Detective Story:
A detective is hired to catch Trinity, but may find out too much.
Matriculated: My personal favorite. People capture a robot and try to get in to convert to their side using a Matrix-like virtual reality. I can imagine that being under the influence would add to this story.
Almost all of the stories are open-ended and leave you somewhat unsatisfied and right when you get involved in a story it ends as just about every one is under 10 minutes long. All of the stories have their own animation style and use an interesting blend of 3d and 2d animation.
on June 22, 2004
The Animatrix, in my opinion, has done far more for Japanese animation in the US than Cartoon Network and its "Toonami" ever have and probably ever will. The Wachowskis never tried to hide the fact that the look and feel of The Matrix was greatly inspired by years of watching anime. This collection was born out of a meeting with producers at the famous Studio 4oC in Japan. The idea was to bring in a collaboration of some of their favorite anime directors to further explore the world of The Matrix. The result was The Animatrix, a collection of brilliant side-stories that expand upon the normal moviegoing experience.
-Final Flight of the Osiris: This short was written by the Wachowskis and animated and directed by the same team that did Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Taking place directly before The Matrix Reloaded and even alluded to by Niobi in the beginning of said film. Here we follow the hovercraft, The Osiris, as its crew are the first to discover the method of the machine army's final attack against Zion. This short was actually shown in theaters in front of Dreamcatcher (ugh). To be completely honest, I went and saw Dreamcatcher just to see Final Flight of the Osiris. No regrets, it was worth it.
The Second Renaissance I & II: Written by the Wachowskis and directed by Mahiro Maeda (co-founder of Studio Gonzo of Blue Submarine fame), this is the complete origin of the relationship between mankind and the machines and how the war began. This alone is worth the price of the DVD.
Kid's Story: Kid, an important character in Revolutions, debuts here in a short written by the Wachowskis and directed by Shinichiro Watanbe (Cowboy Bebop). Great insight into Kid's character. Find out here why he's so obsessed with Neo in Reloaded and Revolutions.
Program: Written and directed by my favorite anime directer, Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, X: TV Series). Program is a short depicting two freedom fighters sparring in a training program designed around a feudal Japan theme.
World Record: Can a mind free itself through intense training and concentration? Find out here in Takeshi Koiki's story about a track star who just won't give up.
Beyond: Written and directed by Koji Morimoto. Beyond shows us a glitch in the matrix perceived as a haunted house. Here anything is possible and the laws of physics are completely re-written....that is until agents show up to correct the "problem".
A Dectective Story: It's noir! Another by Watanabe, this black and white short portrays a detective hired by agents to track down the ever-elusive Trinity in a story that takes place before the original Matrix.
Matriculated: A short by Peter Chung (Aeon Flux, Dark Fury: The Chronicles of Riddick, Reign), this story focuses on a team of surface dwellers that have an interesting way of dealing with the machines that reside there. When something goes terribly wrong with one of their robots, prepare yourself for a total mind-job that only Peter Chung can create.
on June 5, 2004
The Animatrix is a set of nine short animations, all very different in look and in story, loosely set in the world of The Matrix.
There's a lot to like in this set. The opening piece, 'The Final Flight of the Osiris,' is the best super-realistic animation I've seen to date. Later, 'World Record' uses its hard-edged graphic style almost in praise of its central figure, an athlete. Realism could never convey the human physical power shown here. The final piece, 'Matriculated,' uses a more fantastic style, creating almost a sense of a war between gods.
Each piece ends on an ambiguous note; there's always more story to come. I will be interested to see more, if it holds to the standard set by the best of these pieces. There is a real danger of downward sequel creep, though. Even within this collection, some pieces lacked the energy of others.
This is an enjoyable and varied set of animations. They are loosely federated under the Matrix banner, but you don't need to have seen (or even have enjoyed) The Matrix to like these.
on May 27, 2004
I'm an anime geek, nerd, dork, otaku, whatever. I'm a member of my school's anime club. When I first heard that the Wachowski Brothers were anime fans as well and were planning to release a DVD of Matrix-inspired anime, I jumped up and down with happiness! I bought it the day it came out. I was not disappointed. Many people do not like The Animatrix for one reason or another, but if you're like me and love both anime and The Matrix very very much, this is a must buy! The DVD features nine Japanese- and/or CG-animated short films. Final Flight of the Osiris is an American CG-animated film from the creators of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. This is the favorite among most. My favorites are Kid's Story and A Detective Story because they are both directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, director of Cowboy Bebop. Other short films include The Second Renaissance: Parts 1 and 2, Program, World Record, Beyond, and Matriculated. As I said before, if you LOVE anime and The Matrix, this is a MUST-BUY!!
on April 11, 2004
A collection of nine short animated features set in the world of the Matrix films. They provide some backstory and texture to the trilogy, although most of the stories are completely separate from the action of the films. The animation is uniformly excellent, making it a pleasure to watch on that level alone. Many of the stories lack much in the way of substance, but because they are short and the animation is so good, I was not disturbed.
"The Final Flight of the Osiris," which serves a direct prelude to the action of "Reloaded," is a highlight. There is nothing to the story-a session in the training simulator, followed by the discovery of the drilling machines beginning their journey to Zion and then a lot of fleeing and fighting. The computer animation, however, is absolutely stunning, so photo-realistic that there were a few moments when I wondered if they were mixing live action and animation. "World Record" raises the intriguing possibility that a pushing oneself to the limits of endurance could trigger a spontaneous awakening from stasis. "Beyond" presents a surreal glitch in the Matrix. "The Second Renaissance," which tells the story of how machines ascended and the Matrix came to be made, features some powerful and disturbing visuals, but seems very implausible.
The films do not work together to become more than the sum of their parts, but they remain very entertaining nevertheless.