The Animatrix (2003)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 6/7/03

"The Animatrix" is a perfect tie-in to "The Matrix Reloaded" (2003) and offers numerous back stories that flesh out the events in that film. It also plays to the Wachowski's love of anime, and has a very Japanese look and feel. The film is a collection of animated shorts presented in anthology format, with each segment being handled by a different director and creative team. Not all of the stories work ("World Record" being my least favorite), but most of them are quite interesting and mentally engaging. They're all naturally dark and depressing, and much like "Heavy Metal" (1981), none of them have a happy ending. By far the best piece is "Final Flight Of The Osiris," produced by Square and the team that did "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" (2001). It's utterly amazing, and a gorgeous piece of animation. One could even argue that it's better than "The Matrix Reloaded" in its entirety, but that's probably just asking for trouble. Regardless, it's a fantastic piece of work. Definitely worth checking out it you're a fan of "The Matrix" or if you just appreciate cutting edge animation aimed at an adult audience.