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By Michael Gallucci | Posted 9/9/2009

Little surprise that Tim Burton is one of the producers of this CG-animated story about a group of tiny creatures (they look like grown-up versions of Little Big Planet's Sackboy) trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The movie's bleak look and tone resemble the dark gothic mood of Burton's best work. But director Shane Acker's movie (originally an Oscar-nominated short) isn't nearly as playful as The Nightmare Before Christmas. In fact, it's downright depressing at times (hint: don't get too attached to the little fellas). In an alternate world where machines declared war on man and wiped out everyone, all that remains is a small tribe of stitched-together individuals with electronic innards that bring them life. The last in line--who's named 9 and voiced by Elijah Wood--accidentally rouses a towering metal monster, which creates an army of walking, flying, and stalking machines to hunt down the nine sackpeople. 9 is visually striking, with its backdrop of hissing factories and washed-out landscapes, but it feels kinda slight, clocking in at about 75 minutes. (And did we mention it's kinda depressing? Don't bring the little ones.) Still, sci-fi and animation fans will relish its apocalyptic splendor.

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