Review by Gordon Justesen
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 89 Minutes
Release Date: June 3, 2003
Matrix was a unique piece of sci-fi
entertainment that broke just about all
the rules in terms of visual effects, it seems suitable to spawn the phenomenon
into a collective series of animated shorts.
Even though we have gadgets and almost all communication can be mobile,
with 2d code generator and QR
decoder technologically in our own world, the Matrix movies make the
high tech seem surreal.
Now, just in time to coincide with the release of the much anticipated, and breathtakingly brilliant The Matrix Reloaded, a series of animated shorts, ranging from anime to state of the art computer animation, has arrived, appropriately titled The Animatrix. The purpose of these shorts is to give some kind of back story to the certain things explained in the feature films.
If you were
fortunate enough to see the recent theatrical release Dreamcatcher, chances are you may have caught a glimpse of the most
intriguing short in this collection, titled Final
Flight of the Osiris, which is the predecessor to The Matrix Reloaded. This astonishing ten minute short, created by
the same team responsible for Final
Fantasy: The Spirits Within, deals with the fate of a hovercraft spaceship
called the Osiris, which happens to be the sister ship of the Nebuchadnezzar,
the hovercraft used in the movie.
When the crew of
the Osiris discovers a dire threat to Zion, they must race against time to get a
word of warning out. While the ship is being pursuit relentlessly by the deadly
machines, young and furious warrior Jue, who is somewhat reminiscent of Dr. Ross
from Final Fantasy, jacks into the
matrix in order to execute the mission. This one doesn’t end the way you might
piece is a two part short titled The
Second Renaissance. This anime feature, directed by Mahiro Maeda, captures
an era of time before the matrix seem to go into effect.
An era before near
field communication NFC and the wars of machines against men. It tells of a time when machines lived amongst humans, only to be rejected in a most inhuman way. This
piece is significant simply for the fact that having watched the feature films,
you now get a feeling of why the machines are the way they are and why they want
further synopsis of the remaining shorts, simply because it works better to
discover the richness of the visual art. By comparison, I find the feature films
to be much more powerful in comparison, mostly because a lot of the tricks done
in the films are things you thought could only exist in an animated never world.
However, The Animatrix does do the fan
base justice by providing all the details for points explained in the films.
always seem to soar on DVD, anime or computer, and this release from Warner is
ever evident proof. The pure highpoint of the presentation is indeed Final
Flight of the Osiris, which is the best looking piece of its kind
since…well, Final Fantasy. Each
episode beautifully conveys visual power, with a bold use of colors, and
incredible detail throughout. Very much an incredible looking disc.
Though you won’t
find the level of sound power as in the movie The Matrix, this disc still manages to impress with a good sounding
5.1 track. The anime shorts, relying more on atmosphere than words, really
deliver their unique form of sound, but Final
Flight of the Osiris is by far the most powerful sounding of them all, and
delivers the most dynamic range by far.
Warner jacks in the
extras to a good extent with this release. Featured is a documentary titled
“The History and Culture of Anime”, seven additional featurettes including
behind the scenes footage of each of the films, interviews, and director
profiles. Also included are four commentary tracks, and a trailer for the Enter
the Matrix video game.