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9

9 is a 2009 American computer-animated post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Shane Acker, written by Pamela Pettler, and produced by Jim Lemley, Dana Ginsburg, Tim Burton, and Timur Bekmambetov. The film stars the voice talents of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau and Fred Tatasciore. The film is based on Acker’s Academy Award-nominated 2005 short film/student project of the same name, created at the UCLA Animation Workshop . Focus Features released it theatrically on September 9, 2009. It received generally mixed reviews from critics and earned $48.4 million on a $30 million budget. It also received an Annie Award nomination for Best Animated Effects in a Feature Production. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 29, 2009.

Plot

In Germany, 1930, a scientist (Alan Oppenheimer) is ordered by his dictator (Tom Kane) to create a robot in the apparent name of progress. The scientist uses his own intellect to create the B.R.A.I.N, a highly intelligent robot without a soul. Upon completion, however, the dictator quickly seizes it and turns it into the Fabrication Machine, an armature that can construct an army of war machines to destroy the dictator's enemies. Lacking a soul, the Fabrication Machine decides to exterminate all of Earth's population. The Fabrication Machine reprograms the other war machines to attack humanity, wiping out all plant, animal and microbial life with toxic gas and chemical weapons. On the verge of destruction, the scientist uses alchemy to create nine homunculus-like rag dolls known as "stitchpunks", giving them portions of his own soul via a talisman he created. He dies upon completion of the final doll.

Some time later, the final stitchpunk, 9 (Elijah Wood), awakens in the scientist's workshop. Taking the talisman with him, 9 ventures into the devastated city and meets 2 (Martin Landau), a frail inventor who gives him a working voice box and is surprised to see the talisman. The last active machine, the Cat-Beast, attacks the pair and abducts both 2 and the talisman. 9 collapses, but awakens in Sanctuary, the tower of a dilapidated cathedral that is home to other Stitchpunks: the dogmatic leader 1 (Christopher Plummer), his large bodyguard 8 (Fred Tatasciore), the cycloptic engineer 5 (John C. Reilly), and the mentally unstable oracle 6 (Crispin Glover). 1 immediately declares 2 as dead, but 9, having seen the condemned factory where the Cat-Beast took him, decides to rescue him. 9 and 5 venture to the factory where they find 2. The Cat-Beast attacks the trio, but are saved by the warrior 7 (Jennifer Connolly). 9, drawn by curiosity, connects the talisman to the derelict Fabrication Machine, reviving it, and it subsequently kills 2 by sucking out his soul. 9, 5, and 7 manage to escape the factory.

7 takes 9 and 5 to an abandoned library, where the silent scholar twins, 3 and 4, show 9 the Fabrication Machine's origins. 5 realizes the talisman's symbols match the clairvoyant drawings of 6. 9 and 5 return to Sanctuary to investigate, but 1 intervenes and reprimands them for disobeying his orders. Meanwhile, the Fabrication Machine assembles new robotic creatures; one of them, the bird-like Winged Beast, attacks Sanctuary, leading to a battle between it and the stitchpunks. The stitchpunks win, defeating the Winged Beast, but lose their safehouse due to a fire caused during the battle.

As the group retreats to the library, 6, 3, and 4 cryptically explain the talisman's origins. Meanwhile, the Fabrication Machine retrieves 2's corpse and uses it as a hypnotic lure for another one of its robot creatures, the snake-like Seamstress. The Seamstress attacks the library and captures both 7 and 8, but 2's body is recovered and given a funeral by the others. The stitchpunks then run to the factory to destroy the machines. As part of their plan, 9 goes in alone, kills the Seamstress, and rescues 7, but not before 8's soul is absorbed by the Fabrication Machine. 9 and 7 then escape while the others destroy the factory.

The stitchpunks celebrate the destruction of the factory, but the Fabrication Machine, which survived, suddenly emerges from the ruins of the factory and absorbs 5's soul. The Fabrication Machine attacks the group as they run away, and finally captures 6, who is absorbed, but not before telling 9 to go to the scientist's workshop to find answers. 9 follows 6's instructions, finding a holographic recorded message from the scientist, explaining the origins of the B.R.A.I.N, and that the Stitchpunks have his soul, making them the only hope for humanity. Following this revelation, 9 returns to his friends.

9 reunites with the other stitchpunks and decides to sacrifice himself so the others can retrieve the talisman. Having had a change of heart, 1 redeems himself by saving 9, pushing him out of the way and allowing himself to be absorbed while 9 removes the talisman. 9 activates the talisman and reabsorbs the souls taken by the Machine, resulting in its final destruction. Afterwards, 9, 7, 3, and 4 free the souls of 5, 1, 6, 2, and 8 from the talisman. Bidding farewell to their friends, they fly up into the sky. Rain then falls from the sky, the raindrops containing small flecks of glowing bacteria, bringing life back into the world.

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