After “The Matrix” came out in 1999, The Wachowskis immediately begin to conduct stories set in the series exploring more content before and after the first movie after the they promote The Matrix, they visited a few anime companies to collaborate on each short film told in an anthology format. As they work on each story, the first Matrix movie became a national phenomenon, this encouraged The Wachowskis to develop two sequels “The Matrix Reloaded” & “The Matrix Revolutions.” After they completed are short films under the name, “The Animatrix,” the sibling duo later developed the sequels.
The Animatrix officially came out on DVD in 2003 before The Matrix Revolutions came out on Thanksgiving. It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike.
Before the upcoming fourth Matrix sequel comes out in 2022, (due to a delay of the coronavirus) I want to share what’s good about my favorite Matrix movie. Kenau Reeves will also reprise his role in the upcoming third film to “Bill & Ted.” He’ll also have a role in the video game, “Cyberpunk 2077.”
Today’s review doesn’t contain any potential SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article if you haven’t got a chance to watch The Animatrix.
Upgrade & Downgrade Elements
Upgrade: The Wachowskis contributed four short films and most notably “Final Flight Of The Osiris” a two-parter of “The Second Renaissance” & “Kid Story” all connected to The Matrix Trilogy.
More shorts including “Program,” “World Record,” “A Detective Story,” “Beyond” & “Matriculated” expand the series’ mythos focusing on individual characters.
Action Sequences retain the movies’ kinetic fight scenes and of course the “Bullet Time” technique.
Don Davis orchestrated music for all short films.
Each short film has a unique distinctive art style reflecting a specific story’s atmosphere, tone and theme. You can tell The Wachowskis are passionate fans of anime. All of them still hold up pretty dang well.
Both parts of The Second Renaissance reveals more context behind the origins of machines turning against humanity setting up the franchise’s storyline. The machines are given a tragic backstory making you feel bad for them.
A Detective Story involves a private detective tracking down Trinity.
Remember that kid who kept pestering Neo in The Matrix Reloaded? We learn how he got out of The Matrix without taking a red pill. The kid’s real name is Michael Karl Popper.
Beyond focuses on a teenage girl and a couple of kids exploring an abandoned house. A glitch in The Matrix breaks the laws of physics with the kids messing around.
World Record involves an athlete trying to break his own record.
The Final Flight Of The Osiris is set before The Matrix Reloaded. Crew members of The Osiris sent a distress signal.
Matriculated tells the story of a group of soldiers attempting to hack a sentinel by teaching it human emotions in order for it to help the soldiers in combat.
Keanu Reeves reprises his role as Neo in Kid’s Story.
Carrie Anne-Moss reprises her role as Trinity in Kid’s Story & A Detective Story.
Phil LaMaar provides the voice of a samurai named, Duo in Program. Phil also voiced “Samurai Jack.”
Victor Williams (Deacon from The King Of Queens) voices an Olympic runner named, Dan Davis in “World Record.” Dan is partially named after the series’ composer, Don Davis.
Pamala Adlon (Spinelli from Recess) voices Jue, a crew member in The Final Flight Of Osiris.
Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) voices a crew member in The Final Flight Of Osiris.
Without giving anything away, each short movie has an ending whether it’s somber or bittersweet.
A “Wilhelm Scream” is heard in Matriculated. Gotta love that sound effect. It never gets old.
Downgrade: To be honest, I count find anything wrong with this movie. I’m giving each short film an Extra Point for keeping me invested.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
The Animatrix is an excellent anthology anime film showcasing unique stories expanding the franchise’s lore and it’s my personal favorite Matrix movie. The Wachowskis did a tremendous job. They really are big anime fans actually giving a crud about turning your original work into an art form inspired by Japanese animation. If you haven’t seen The Animatrix, I strongly recommend it.