The fall of man is the setting for the 2009 film Nine. A feature length movie directed by Shane Acker and based on his 2005 short film. At center of this CGI, post apocalyptic animated film is the character (and movie’s name sake) Nine (voiced by Elijah Wood) and his journey through the after math.
We start the film with the awakening of Nine (a mechanical being resembling a burlap sack, the size of a doll and with the number nine on his back) as he first sees the world around himself.(it seems to be a world based on 1930’s style of technology) Soon after he finds another being like himself named Two (played by Martin Landau). After a dangerous encounter with a robotic beast he finds even more similar people, each one also having numbers on their backs. As Nine discovers how dangerous the world he lives in is, he also gradually finds answers as to who he is and what the world around him is. Through accident, Nine has awakened a giant machine (a dark colored, spider like robot with red beams which looks to be very inspired by the machines in the matrix) that has had its hand in the extinction of mankind. With the help of the warrior like Seven (played by Jennifer Connelly ), Nine sets out on a way to defeat the head machine and find out more about the origins of himself, the other numbered beings and who the man who made them was.
The world of Nine is a very dark setting where danger and death are everywhere. Nine and the rest of the cast seem to spend of their time running away from machines that are trying to kill them. Thee are many moments of close calls and suspense. It is clearly much more aimed for an older audience when compared to other CGI made films like Shrek or a film from Pixar. (We see the deaths of many of the little numbered people and some human deaths during scenes of the war) .The theme of the destruction that misuse of technology can bring is constant throughout the film. Most of what we see is the destroyed remnants of a world after a war between machines and humans started by a Nazi like dictatorship. (Shown to us by archival like black and white footage to add to the inspired by a 1930’s vision of the future look)The little numbered people use junk and objects used by humans in order to create their tools and homes. There is somewhat of a Tim Burton feel to this film. (In theatrical and DVD promotions he is credited all over as the producer, but I think it is more of Acker taking influence rather than a direct hand by Burton.)
The appearance of the little beings is in ways a sharp contrast to the visuals of the rest of the film. Nine and his comrades seem to have a cartoon like and somewhat whole some look to them. In a way it can kind of seem out of place but it does help distinguish them from the robotic predators that want to slay them. Each one of the numbered little people has their own distinct personality, such as Nine’s curious nature and One’s (played by Christopher Plummer) restrictive nature of keeping everyone in hiding. (Each personality being a reflection of their inventor) The villainous machines on the other hand are made from junk and even include animal bones in their body parts. Some of the evil machines such as the head robot (known as the Fabricator) have glowing red lights that seem kind of matrix inspired. It can come off as a sci-fi cliché to their appearance.
Nine definitely has a unique feel to it and I would say has its own take on the post apocalyptic world. If you want to see a different use of CGI animated movies, then this film might be worth a look into.