Creatures collide in the apocalyptic 9

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Little surprise that Tim Burton is one of the producers of 9, a 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 film’s bleak look and tone resemble the dark gothic mood of Burton’s best work. But director Shane Acker’s movie (originally a short that was nominated for an Oscar), which opens areawide on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 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 the film’s apocalyptic splendor. ***

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