[4.0 stars] 9 (2009) on IMDb [Amazon]

A nice little computer animated fantasy-thriller from 2010 that worked its way to the top of the Netflix queue. Rated PG-13, and a shade darker than your average animated feature.

The premise is (by now) pretty familiar: it's set in the aftermath of a man-vs-machine war, in which the machines won. As often happens in this sort of movie, scientific hubris kills us all! But before kicking the bucket, one scientist creates a small group of sentient rag dolls (which, according to Wikipedia, are called "Stitchpunks"). The main character is…

Darn, what was his name again? Oh, right: 9. It's written on his back, in fact. 9 is the last Stitchpunk to awaken, and does not initially know what's going on. He keeps busy by evading the killer robot that still wanders the devastated landscape. He (briefly) meets the courageous 2, who saves his life. For 2's troubles, though, he's mauled by the robot and carted off to a lair of evil.

But this allows 9 to join up with the rest of the Stitchpunks, a group run by the tyrannical and hyper-cautious 1, with help from his large and stupid enforcer, 8. But 9 finds an ally in 5, and they set out for the lair in order to rescue 2.

It's tempting to sum up the plot as "Terminator meets Toy Story". (And probably plenty of people who saw this movie before I did have already done that.) I enjoyed it. The future it envisions is bleak, but well-drawn.

Last Modified 2012-09-21 10:35 AM EDT