9: The Creepy Doll Revolution Continues

A new clip from the upcoming 9, the full-length version of Shane Acker’s award-winning short film has been ricocheting around the interwebs this week, unnerving everyone in its path (in the best possible way). Produced by Tim Burton, the film’s highly-stylized CGI aesthetic mimics the look of stop-motion animation, creating a visual world that has more in common with the work of the Brothers Quay than with your average Pixar film. Not that I don’t love Pixar, but I grew up on Tim Burton movies—I crave family entertainment that features skeletons and creepy dolls along with sunshine, lollipops and adorable robots. And frankly, Burton’s Corpse Bride fell a bit flat; I think we’re overdue for some genuinely eerie thrills…happily, 9 looks fully capable of delivering The Weird.

Focus Features is releasing 9 this fall following the success of Coraline (its first animated feature), bringing a SFnal twist to animated dark fantasy. The film follows a group of sentient ragdolls battling predatory machine-creatures in a nightmarish, post-apocalyptic hellscape; do one-line plot summaries get any better than that? Elijah Wood voices the eponymous hero, leading an all-star cast of voice talent including Martin Landau, Jennifer Connelly, and my favorite weirdo, Crispin Glover (for those playing at home, that’s one hobbit, one Dracula, one Mistress of the Labyrinth, and one McFly. Awesome). The trailer is so good that it almost makes my head explode; the clip below is pure, creepy genius.

I can’t wait until 9.9.09.


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