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The AniMatrix

  • The Animatrix is a 2003 American-Japanese animated science fiction anthology film produced by the Wachowskis.

  • It is a compilation of nine animated short films based on The Matrix trilogy, which was written and directed by the Wachowskis.

  • 4 of the 9 films were written by the Wachowskis themselves.

  • The film details the backstory of The Matrix universe, including the original war between humankind and machines which led to the creation of The Matrix.

  • Distributed under the Warner Brothers banner, the movie released June 3 of 2003 and runs 101 minutes.

  • It sold over 2.7 million copies, grossing $68 Million in sales revenue

  • It received mostly positive reviews from critics. It has a freshness rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Helen McCarthy of 500 Essential Anime Movies stated that "unlike many heavily promoted franchise movies, it actually justifies the hype."

  • Four of the films were originally released on the series' official website; one of them (Final Flight of The Osiris) appeared in theaters before Stephen King's Dreamcatcher. This is how I was first introduced to it. I remember thinking ummmm what is this pre movie?! The other films first appeared with the VHS and DVD release of the 9 total films.

  • To coincide with the DVD release, a print of the film premiered in June 2003 in New York City at the NY Tokyo Film Festival.

  • It was broadcast on Adult Swim on April 17, 2004 with edits made for the violence and adult situations. Some of the stories even got some release on cable television in the US and UK.

  • It was also aired in select cinemas a few weeks leading up to the premiere of Matrix: Reloaded.

Rundown of The Anthology Episodes

  • Final Flight of The Osiris - written by The Wachowskis and directed by Andy Jones, with CG animation production designed by Square Picures. The short is a direct prequel leading into Matrix: Reloaded.

    • This one is fantastic.

    • I remember when this type of animation became very popular.

    • This one gets pretty spicy.

    • It's cool to see that this is the ship and the crew that gets the message to the rest of the resistance.

  • The Second Renaissance Part 1 - The Second Renaissance is a two-part short film directed by Mahiro Maeda. He used Bits and Pieces of Information written by The Wachowskis as a prequel to the series as a base for the first part. The production is made by the Studio 4 Degree Studio

    • I love the aspect of Man being the "architect" of its own demise

    • The animation is phenomenal

    • There are so many parallels to biblical and modern day issues and society

    • It almost gives you a feeling of sadness for machine kind

  • The Second Renaissance Part 2 - The follow up to part 1, this part sees the destruction of the UN's resistance and the surrender of humankind. At the end of this installment, we see the first Matrix created and the humans beginning to be plugged in.

    • Man this one really makes you hate the human race

    • You actually get to see the scorching of the sky that Morpheus references

    • The scary part is that the machines learned all this behavior from us in the first place.

    • Enough of us are not paying attention to this type of story. This easily could be us, if we don't change.

  • Kid's Story - was written and directed by Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watananbe (based on a story written by The Wachowskis), with animations by Shinya Ohira and Shinji Hashimoto production design by Studio 4 Degree C, Tokyo. It’s the only one of the animated shorts that sees an appearance by Neo. This story takes place in the 6 month gap between Matrix and Matrix: Reloaded. It introduces us to Kid, formally known as Michael Karl Popper.

    • This animation reminds me of old 90's books that got turned into movies like The Brave Little Sparrow or old Anti drug commercials.

    • This makes some of the agents look like bumbling idiots though.

    • We also find out that this is the kid that is so obsessed with Neo in the sequel movie.

  • Program - was written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri and produced by Madhouse. The character designs were done by Yutaka Minowa. It follows the protagonist, Cis, who is engaged in her favorite simulation, a battle program set in feudal Japan.

    • Beautiful animation.

    • This is one of the first times we see doubt in the truth and someone wanting to be pugged back in like Cypher in the first film.

  • World Record - was created by Madhouse and directed by Takeshi Koike, with a screenplay by Yoshiaki Kawaijiri. The beginning of it sees a short narration from the instructor, implying that this short is a Zion Archive file. This narration explains "plugged in" humans becoming aware of The Matrix.

    • This animation is cool, but very odd.

    • The coach's animation in speaking is a little annoying

    • This is the first we hear of someone waking up on their own. We also see earlier renditions of agents.

  • Beyond - was written and directed by Koji Mormoto and produced by Studio 4 Degrees C. It follows a teenage girl, Yoko, looking for her cat Yuki. She meets a group of boys that tells her the cat was in an abandoned haunted house where they usually play.

    • By the time I was onto this one, I started to notice that a lot of anime seems to have a thing with its women in a shirt and underwear.

    • This animation reminds me of a lot of many go to generic animations for manga and other anime.

    • The girl is obviously a star child fan of David Bowie

    • I liked this one. I liked seeing the response team of agents and hazmat units react to the "haunted" house. They are like the antibodies for when disbelief begins to happen.

  • A Detective Story - was written and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, with animation by Kazuto Nakazawa and is a direct prequel to the first film. It follows a private detective named Ash. He strives to be a hard boiled detective, but is less than successful. One day he receives an anonymous phone call to find a hacker named Trinity.

    • I thoroughly enjoy this noir feel

    • Basically it looks like an old newspaper animation

    • This is the first we begin to see of the Alice in Wonderland talk

    • This is also the umpteenth time a cat is involved in some form or fashion. Idk why, but I feel like it's because cats are linked to like the supernatural and the underworld.

    • This is one of the shorter stories

  • Matriculated - was written and directed by director Peter Chung, known for his work on Aeon Flux. It is produced by DNA Productions. The film deals with a group of above ground rebels who lure and trap a group of hostile machines to their lab and install them into a "matrix" of their own design.

    • This is kind of an animation type you don't see much of

    • This one is wild and trippy

    • Very depressing

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