Some observations on the Animatrix:

The front-end interface, while cool-looking, is terrible. I realize that they're trying to be cool and avante-garde, but there are certain standards to which one should stick. For instance, while selecting the "Vison" (episodes) one wants to watch, the name of the selected "vision" is not displayed, instead, the text just cycles through all the "vision" name and numbers, so if you have say, #7 selected, you have to wait until the text cycles through the first six until you can learn the title. Also, if you choose to not Play All, you cannot skip through the epides with the back or next chapter buttons. So, say you've watched the first 4 episodes, stop, and later wish to watch the remaining 5. You cannot just open up number five and continue from there, you must selct "Play All", and then skip through the first four episodes. Assy.

My DVD always defaulted to Japanese audio for some reason.

4 of the shorts featured women hanging around in their underwear. Two of these instances were for no particular reason. Not a complaint, mind you, just an observation.

The Second Renaissance series confirmed my stance that the humans are actually the bad guys in the Matrix universe.

Nowhere during Final Flight of the Osiris did Thadeus record, or have time to record, the message ("This is Thadeus, Captain of the Osiris." etc.) that the rebels watch in Enter the Matrix.

World Record shows that nerds are not the only ones who can get out of the Matrix. Jocks have a chance, too.

Kid's Story would have been 10x better if the kid had simply died. Then we wouldn't have had his pointless character in Reloaded, and it would have given a good message to all the disaffected, alienated teenagers watching it that being disaffected and alienated is par for adolescence, it doesn't mean that the world isn't real or that one should kill oneself. I really don't want to be the kind of person who says such things, but this short gives a really dangerous message. Of course, anyone who kills themselves thinking that they're going to escape to the Real World is an idiot anyhow. The animation on this one was really brillant, though.

Beyond was one of my favorites and explored an aspect of the matrix that I find very interesting, the presence of glitches. (man, the matrix must have been a bitch to test ("Consistently, in the house at 1500 Trelawk Drive, in the living room, if the user throws a glass bottle at the floor, the bottle will break, freeze, and then reform.") However, apparently the Wachowski's strict standards of there being absolutely no blue in the matrix, save for police officers and cars, did not apply in this case. Fine with me, I really dug the cheery animation. It was a nice break from the noir-stylings of most Matrix stuff.

Matriculated was totally drugs.

Now that most of the negatives are out of the way, I must say that this was really a fascinating and unprecedented collaberative work. The Matrix films always struck me as being live-action anime, which of course, they are pretty much supposed to be. I'd always thought the series would be better in animated form, and it works really really well in that medium. Seeing other aspects of the Matrix universe besides Neo's invincible adventures was a refreshing treat. I don't appreciate the Matrix franchise's tendency to pluck out important pieces of the plot and release them in different media, but there was enough non-canonical "extra" stories to justify this series. The animation is brilliant and all the short films are very professionally realized so that the DVD stands on its own.


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