The animated movie 9 begins with the lifeless form of a ragdoll hanging by one arm in a ransacked room. Meanwhile a long-dead corpse lies on the floor. The doll, which has the number 9 printed on its back, falls to the ground. A few seconds later, it begins to move and become conscious. It gets up, goes over to a window, and opens it to reveal a lifeless post-apocalyptic landscape below.
While investigating the outside world, 9 (voice of Elijah Wood) encounters 2 (Martin Landau), a ragdoll being like himself. Before the encounter can progress too far, the pair are attacked by a giant cat-like creature called the Beast. 9 is left unconscious while 2 is carried off in the jaws of the Beast.
When 9 wakes up, he finds himself in a room with several similar ragdoll beings including 1 (voice of Christopher Plummer), the group's domineering leader and veteran from the machine wars. There is also 1's giant dim-witted henchman 8 (Fred Tatasciore), mechanic and ragdoll repairer 5 (John C. Reilly), and zany obsessive sketch artist 6 (Crispin Glover). While in their company, 1 tells 9 how the humans created technology that got out of control. As a result, machines rose up and destroyed humanity. 1 tells 9 that the Beast will kill 2 and that there is nothing any of them can do about it. But 9 refuses to abandon 2 to the Beast. He and 5 set off to battle menacing machines, destroy the Beast and rescue 2.
Apocalypse; humans against machines; death of friends; self-sacrifice
9 contains scenes showing intense action violence and peril, war scenes, and apocalyptic cityscapes. For example:
- 9 hits an unsuspecting 2 in the head with a wrench, knocking him off his feet.
- We hear the sounds of creaking and scraping metal. A metal creature that looks like the skeletal remains of a giant cat appears. After a short scuffle, the creature picks up the limp form of 2 in its mouth and moves off, while 9 is left lying on the ground with a torn shoulder.
- 8, a large thug-like ragdoll creature who constantly wields a large cook's knife, shoves 9 roughly in the back and then laughs at his own actions.
- Through flashbacks, we see human soldiers fighting giant machines, which shoot running men with hails of machine-gun fire, then trample them down. There are loud explosions, the ground shakes, and bombs explode. Men fly through the air. We hear how the gas killed everything.
- During a battle scene, a group of ragdoll beings walk under a helmet, using it as cover. We see one of the ragdoll beings lose his eye as a result. He is carried away injured.
- 2, who appears to be unconscious, is imprisoned in a bird cage. 9 and 5 attempt to rescue 2. The Beast attacks them, using its metal paw to knock them across the room. The scene contains lots of animal growling and snapping teeth. 7 swings down to lasso the Beast and then cut its head off with a knife attached to a pole. We see the head fall to the ground, but there is no blood visible.
- In several scenes we see a spider-like machine pick up ragdoll beings and suck out their life force through their eyes and mouths. We see green light being sucked out of the ragdoll beings and into the spider machine. After the machine has finished sucking out their life forces, the ragdoll beings drop lifeless to the ground. Their eyes and mouths are smouldering holes.
- 8 slaps 9 with enough force to send him flying across the room. 8 also picks up 5 by the throat.
- A machine that looks like a pterodactyl flies through a window and attacks a group of ragdoll beings. It snaps at them with a scissor-like beak and uses its tail to fire harpoon-like needles at its victims. They run onto a rooftop while being chased by the machine. One of them throws a knife into the machine's fan, causing the machine to stumble. 7 tries to behead the bird machine, but misses. The machine uses its tail to harpoon him in the leg. The machine falls into the blades of a giant fan and is destroyed, causing the building to be engulfed in flames.
- 9 cuts open a snake machine and pulls 7 out just before the snake machine is destroyed in a mincing machine.
- When 7 learns that 1 deliberately sent 2 to his death, she attacks 1. She holds a knife to his throat and calls him a coward.
- Hundreds of small machines chase after 9 and 7. A barrel of flammable liquid rolls towards the creatures and explodes. The flames engulf the crab-like creatures.
- The spider machine is crossing a bridge while chasing ragdoll beings. The beings fire a giant cannon at the spider machine, which causes massive explosions. The bridge collapses, but the spider machine is uninjured and continues the chase, firing a flamethrower at the ragdoll beings. Several of the beings are burnt by the flames.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:
- Younger children might find some elements of the ragdoll beings scary or disturbing. Although the figures are doll-like in appearance, one has a threatening manner and carries a large cook's knife as a weapon. Also, his mouth is stitched shut. The ragdoll beings have claw-like metal fingers and shutter-like eyes. One of the ragdoll beings has an eye missing and a patch welded across part of his face. The female ragdoll being, 7, wears a bird skull for a helmet.
- A scientist stares into a machine that is sucking green light from his mouth and eyes. We are told that the machine is sucking out the man's soul.
- All of the machine creatures might be scary and disturbing to younger children. The Beast looks like a giant cat skeleton. It has large sharp teeth, knife blades for claws, and a giant cat's skull for a head. The cat machine makes creepy-sounding metallic clunks, scrapes and growls. Another machine creature is a combination of a snake and centipede. The creature has a creepy doll's head, a mouth that is stitched shut with red thread, and centipede-like arms protruding from its body. This creature wraps up its victims in thread and then seems to eat them. The spider machine has a single eye and long tentacles that suck the life force out of its victims. Another machine is like a giant pterodactyl with a harpoon tail.
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by some of the violent and scary scenes described above.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
None of concern
Nudity and sexual activity
None of concern
None of concern
None of concern
Ideas to discuss with your children
9 is an animated science fiction adventure with stunning and entertaining visual effects. The movie contains images and themes too scary for younger children, however, while the story line and character development are a little too thin for grown-ups to enjoy.
The main messages from this movie are:
- If you cause a problem, you should be the one to fix it.
- If technology is not controlled by people with morals and ethics, it will destroy us.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include self-sacrifice, a strong sense of right and wrong, and the courage to stand up for your beliefs.