Positive proof that originality doesn’t necessarily equal quality Discuss this article

Positive proof that originality doesn’t necessarily equal quality, this unusual slice of digitally animated apocalypse throws up some intriguing ideas but ultimately fails to impress. The central character, 9, is a stuffed toy who comes to life in a post-human future of giant machines. Leaving the workshop where he was made, he stumbles across a gang of equally misshapen straw dolls, numbered 1 to 8, who are eking out a meagre existence and hiding from The Beast, a mechanical terror in the shape of a stalking cat.

First-time director Acker’s major problem is one of tone: with its desolate landscapes and oppressive atmosphere of impending violence, 9 is supposedly intended for adults. But the script is so shallow and bluntly allegorical, the characters so transparent, even young teenagers may find it patronising. Though the animation is impressive, this film will surely be remembered as an intriguing failure: a triumph of ambition over ability, of ideas over emotional resonance – just another grim fairy tale for these troubled times.

By Tom Huddleston
Time Out Doha,


  • Duration: 79
  • Released: Thu, 15 Apr
  • Classification: G
  • Language: English
  • Director: Shane Acker
  • Stars: Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Jennifer Connelly, Fred Tatasciore, Elijah Wood, Alan Oppenheimer, Tom Kane, Helen Wilson

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