Watch 9

9 is an animated short film about a sentient rag doll with the number 9 inscribed on his back who must scavenge through a ravaged landscape where human life once existed. He is building things from the scraps he scavenges to help him survive in this harsh and cruel world. 9 is being hunted by a large creature that looks like a big mechanical cat cobbled together from scrap parts. They each have a hand-held device that slowly flashes an ominous green to show them when the other is near. It's this device that can also be used to suck the life force out of any sentient being. The cat has done this with all of the other 8 rag dolls that have come before. Now it wants 9 as well.

9 lures the cat into a building and gets the drop on him, stealing away the cat's life-force-capturing device. The cat gives chase, and they end up out on a thin ledge several stories above the ground. Having lured the cat out onto the ledge, 9 swings to safety on the armature he was making at the beginning of the film and sends the cat plummeting to its destruction.

Now with both glowing devices in his possession, 9 puts them together to form one large device that then releases the trapped souls of all the rag dolls from whom the cat has stolen their life force. With a nod of thanks from one of the spirits, the souls of the rag dolls fade away to their great reward. And 9, glowing staff in hand, turns around and heads out into the bleak landscape to face the wide world alone.

With captivating images and not a word of dialogue, this animated short is an original and hauntingly beautiful story that then went on to be made into an animated feature.

2005 | 11 min | 7.8/10

Also directed by Shane Acker

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9 is currently available to watch and stream, buy on demand at FandangoNow online.

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