Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: A-
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Other
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Animatrix
By Mark McPherson
June 05, 2003
Release Date: June 03, 2003
There are a lot of people who have seen The Matrix, but bearly anyone actually figured out the world of The Matrix and just chose to get lost in fight sequences. It's understandable though since there is much in The Matrix that never gets explained or is only scratched at. For those who are interested in learning more about The Matrix or for those who just have grab everything with the words "Matrix" on it and want to be seen cool, the Animatix will please.
Audio: For my primary review, I listened to the English track and was really surprised how well it turned out. The Japanese track is just as good and there is no distortion on either track. Warner Brothers did a great job with the audio tracks.
Video: The widescreen video transfer looks incredibly good and it really pays off during some of the action scenes. Pretty standard for a release of this calibur.
Packaging: Pretty dissapointing. It's in one of those secrurity safe clamshell cases. There is some info inside the cover, but I really think Warners Brothers could have done better with the packaging of the Animatrix. There is a DVD\Soundtrack combo package, but it doesn't look much better than the stand-alone version either.
Menu: Pretty hard to navigate a few times, but other than that it's solid. The menus are basically a cube with scenes from the Animatrix on each side.
Extras: There are is a good number of extras on this one disc. First, there is commentary on 4 of the shorts by the directors that offers some good info on the features. Of course, there will be a lot of people out there who have no clue what the word "anime" means. Thus, a "history of anime" feature has been included which starts out as the concept for the idea and then rolls right into it with comments by Todd MacFarlane, Peter Chung, Ain't It Cool News creator and a whole bunch of other historians on anime. Getting out of the history lesson, we also have a featurette for each segment of the Animatrix with comments and bios on the directors and writers. And lastly is a short trailer for the Enter The Matrix video game. Nothing big if you've already played the game.
Content: You've probably read all the other reviews for this show, I'll skip the introductions and get right to the segments in chronological order.
Final Flight of the Osiris: This has been the most popular segment of the Animatrix probably because it looks the least like it was animated. It's the shortest feature and is basically a tie-in to Reloaded and nothing more. The dialogue is pretty cheap and the overall story is deviler video right before you die, which if you've seen the Final Fantasy movie, isn't too original.
The Second Renaissance Parts 1 and 2: Simply put, it's a prequel to The Matrix, but they it's executed is quite good. The segment is a documentary so there is no main characters, just a bunch of events with lots of characters shown. If you liked Metropolis, you should have no problems loving this one. And if Metropolis isn't your thing, you should still see this. The backstory, war montage, newsreel footage and huge battle sequence at the end is just too much to pass up.
Kid's Story: Ever wonder who that one bald teen was in Reloaded who kept following Neo? Well, that gets answered in this nice escape-from-the-bad-guys segment complete with some nice living sketch art. Anyone who liked the animation used in Waking Life will love Kid's Story's art.
Program: Well, it couldn't be avoided. After all, what anime fan wouldn't love to see a tradtional Japanses samurai fight? And with the same people who did Ninja Scroll on the team, Program should please some fans. You'll also notice some art in the segment that may remind you of Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust.
World Record: Here's some new art coming to the table. It reminds me of the Street Fighter designs a little bit. The premise is about an athlete who wants to break his track record, but at the same time he also breaks through the Matrix. Naturally, Agents pop up.
A Detective Story: Written and Directed by the great Shinichiro Wantanabe (Cowboy Bebop) A Detective Story is very well-executed noir detective segment that has some shades of Bebop in it.
Matriculated: Peter Chung is back again! This time he used some CG to create a bizare robotic mind where it feels like your dreaming. The good use of CG and imagery in this feature made it a favorite a mine. Plus, a cute little monkey mascot pops up.
So is the Animatrix worth it? Indeed. There will be at least one feature in this movie that you will love. I guess that's what I love about it the most. Highly recommended.
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