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DVD Reviews: Animatrix

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 1 June 2003
Distributed by:
Village Roadshow
Running Time: 88 Minutes





The original motion picture, The Matrix wasn't just an event but a new form of cinema that was never seen by the masses in Western countries. It not only paid homage to Japanese Anime but also pushed the boundaries of special effects and introduced one of the most widely copied special effects of all time... bullet time. The concept behind The Matrix involves a young hacker named Neo who is told that the human race has been enslaved by machines and that only he can liberate mankind. This leads to the question, where does the Animatrix fit in the grand scheme of things?

The Animatrix is the official prequel and sequel to The Matrix and features 9 short films set in the Matrix universe. The first film of the disc is entitled "The Final Flight of the Osiris" and is created by Squaresoft, the makers of the movie Final Fantasy and the extremely popular video game series. The story revolves around the crew of the Osiris and a discovery that not only threatens the city of Zion but also the liberation of mankind. There has never been any CGI that has ever come this close to realism and without spoiling too much of the story, the crew must deliver a message to Neo before all is lost. 

The next two stories are entitled the "Second Renaissance", parts one and two and features the complete history of how the Matrix was created and documents the battle between mankind and machines. These two stories feature some amazing animation and storytelling that help emerge the viewer into the world of the Matrix. 

Part four of the Animatrix called "Kid's Story" tells the tale of how Neo liberated one open-minded teenager and freed him from the Matrix. Keanu Reeves also reprises his role as Neo and it should be noted that the character from this story is also seen in Matrix Reloaded. Part five is entitled "Program" and tells the tale of another crew that travels around the Matrix. Program is set in feudal Japan and features some amazing animation and action with a surprising twist at the end. 

"World Record" is the sixth story on the Animatrix and tells the tale of a world athlete who manages to break the code of the Matrix by his superior athletic abilities. Part seven of the Animatrix is entitled "Beyond" and tells of a young girl who goes searching for her cat in a haunted district. Probably one of the most interesting and thought provoking stories on the disc, it documents the problems of the Matrix and how the laws of physics do not always work in this world. 

"A Detective Story" is the eighth instalment of the Animatrix and describes how Agents use specialist humans in order to capture rogue humans. Carrie-Anne Moss returns as Trinity in this dark and gritty episode. The final story of the Animatrix called "Matriculated" tells the tale of a group of humans who try to turn machines onto their side through psychological conditioning. Probably one of the strangest episodes of the entire disc and easily one of the most heart provoking. 

The video quality of the Animatrix is perfect and features a 2.35:1 aspect ratio or in laymen's terms, widescreen. The Final Flight of the Osiris is clearly one of the most superior stories on the Animatrix because of its perfect CGI and wonderful colours but all the other stories feature sharp, crisp and colourful animation. 

When it comes to audio, the DVD also features superior Dolby Digital 5.1 and sounds magnificent through the right speaker setup. The musical score of the Animatrix is basically taken straight from The Matrix movie so you can easily relate to the stories.

The Animatrix also features a plethora of extras that makes this DVD a worthy disc for your collection. The DVD features four audio commentaries that goes beyond the world of the Matrix, a teaser trailer for the game called "Enter the Matrix" that is also in Matrix continuity, Cast/Crew biographies, a Featurette  entitled "Scrolls to Screen - A history of Anime", behind the scenes footage and DVD-ROM features.

I would highly recommend the Animatrix to all Matrix and Anime fans as not only does it give the viewer an incite into the world behind the Matrix, but makes both movies, The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded just that tad more enjoyable. Highly Recommended! 

The Films

- Final Flight of the Osiris
- The Second Renaissance Parts I & II
- Kid's Story
- Program 
- World Record
- Beyond
- A Detective Story
- Matriculated 

Animatrix Features

  • 2.35:1 aspect ratio (Widescreen)
  • 16:9 enhanced
  • Dual layer
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Subtitles: English
  • Audio commentary
  • Teaser trailer
  • cast/crew biographies
  • Featurette - Scrolls to Screen
  • Animated menus
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • DVD-ROM features
  • 88 Minutes
  • Region 4


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