As post apocalyptic movies go, things don't get much more apocalyptic than they do in the movie 9. In a post war-time, when the only things left are some golems made by an old man, and a bunch of distinctly WWII influenced robots things can't get much more bleak.
Despite this 9 has a sense of heart and a distinctly more grown up story than your average animated adventure. Likewise some of the 'enemy' machines are genuinely scary with some Sam Raimi'esque moments - enhanced considerably by the awesome sound work.
Stylistically 9 is as bleak as it sounds. The world is rendered in gritty 'realistic' browns and greys, with only the occasional splash of colour to brighten things - and this makes a fantastic antidote to the sterile, dayglo, worlds we are normally invited. This is the Mad Max 3 of animated movies.
The story has elements of the formulaic, but is mature enough that it stands out from the crowd - even the ending steers clear of the obvious resolution (albeit only just). It tells the tale of a world with no humans and the struggle of some creatures designed by an elderly scientist before his death. It tells of their life and death struggle against the evil robots that roam the land.
The character design is fantastic - I particularly liked the heroic female, called 7, with her bird skull body armour. All of the characters and their equipment are created from real world items - check out number 2's hat and number 8's weapons in the images below. There was clearly a lot of care and attention lavished on the design and this shows in every area.
I can't recommend the movie 9 enough - if only because it dares to be different. The budget has to have been lower than your average film, but the amount of creativity, and passion, that was put into it shines from every pore and I loved every moment of it. Go grab a copy of 9 and enjoy the sort of film we just don't get enough of.