9 is a 2009 animated science fiction/action film directed by Shane Acker and produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov. The film stars Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer. It is based on Acker's Academy Award-nominated 2005 short film of the same name. The screenplay for the film was written by Pamela Pettler. Casting for 9 was done by Mindy Marin, with production design by Robert St. Pierre and Fred Warter, and art direction by Christophe Vacher. The film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for "violence and scary images". In the U.K., the film has been rated 12A by the BBFC for moderate sustained threat.
During a period of economic decline, the government of a totalitarian state commissions scientists to research ways for the nation to prosper. One scientist (Alan Oppenheimer) develops an artificially intelligent brain, but before it can be properly tested, it is taken away by the government to build the Fabrication Machine, which is used to provide labor for the people and creates machines for war. Eventually the Fabrication Machine snaps under pressure and turns against humanity, programming its machines to eradicate all forms of life. The scientist later creates a set of nine numbered ragdoll-like "stitchpunks", hoping they will preserve humanity's legacy and allow life to continue. He brings them to life by transferring his soul into each of them through a mysterious talisman object, and dies as soon as he gives life to the final stitchpunk, numbered "9" (Elijah Wood).
9 awakens in the scientist's laboratory, the world now a barren wasteland, and finds the talisman, which he instinctively takes with him. While exploring the ruined world, he encounters another stitchpunk, 2 (Martin Landau), who tells him of others like themselves before he is captured by the Cat Beast, which steals the talisman and takes 2 towards a towering factory in the distance. 9 escapes the attack and is found by the group of other stitchpunks consisting of 1 (Christopher Plummer), 5 (John C. Reilly), 6 (Crispin Glover) and 8 (Fred Tatasciore), who have all been hiding in fear of the Cat Beast. 9 explains what happened to 2 and insists they save him, but 1 refuses to jeopardize their safety. 5, on the other hand, is convinced to help 9. The two enter the factory and save 2 from the Cat Beast, which is decapitated thanks to the timely arrival of 7 (Jennifer Connelly). Noticing a socket shaped like the talisman, 9 inserts the talisman into it out of curiosity, only to have it open and instantly sucking 2's soul out, leaving 2 lifeless. This awakens the long-dormant Fabrication Machine, making 9, 5 and 7 to flee.
Seeking answers about the Fabrication Machine and the talisman, 9 is taken to meet 3 and 4, who reveal details about the machine's past, though they know nothing about the talisman. 5 tells 9 that 6 might have answers and return to the hideout, where 6 states they must "go back to the source," where the talisman's secrets can be found. 1, however, berates 9 for awakening the Fabrication Machine and argues that 9 will just lead them to more trouble. Suddenly, the hideout is besieged by the Winged Beast, a new machine created by the Fabrication Machine. Through a combined effort, the stitchpunks destroy the Winged Beast, though the hideout is burned down in the process. During their search for shelter, they are attacked by another new machine, the Seamstress, which kidnaps 7 and 8 and nearly kidnaps 1 as well, who is convinced to strike back against the machines.
9 infiltrates the machine factory where he is able to save 7 and destroy the Seamstress, though he arrives too late to prevent the Fabrication Machine from sucking 8's soul with the talisman. 9 and 7 escape while others ignite a barrel of gasoline and roll it into the gas-filled factory, causing the building to explode and apparently destroying the Fabrication Machine. As the stitchpunks celebrate by listening to Somewhere Over the Rainbow, 5 wanders off to find the Fabrication Machine is still active, and barely manages to warn the others before the machine grabs him and sucks his soul out. During the nonstop chase,while walking on a bridge 6 tells 9 that they shouldn't destroy it that the souls of the dead stitchpunks are trapped inside the Fabrication Machine when suddenly the fabrication machine reaches out from below the bridge and grabs 6. While he is being pulled down by the machine, he says to go back to where he had awoken, then the fabrication machine sucks his soul out leaving him lifeless and dropping him into a deep chasm. Despite this, 1, 7, 3 and 4 plan to destroy the Fabrication Machine anyway, believing the dead souls cannot be saved. 9 decides to heed 6's final words and returns to the laboratory where he first awoke and found the talisman, determining it to be "the source".
Back in the laboratory, 9 finds a message from the scientist explaining how to use the talisman. When the others begin their attack on the Fabrication Machine, 9 returns with a plan to take the talisman back from the machine and use it to retrieve the souls, intending to bait himself to the machine and sacrifice his soul. 1, however, ultimately makes the sacrifice instead, allowing 9 to use the talisman to retrieve the souls, destroying the Fabrication Machine in the process. Afterward, 9, 7, 3 and 4 set up a memorial for 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8. 9 opens the talisman and releases the souls, which rotate up the sky. A rainstorm begins with each raindrop having a part of the stitchpunk's soul, leaving the future in the hands of 3, 4, 7 and 9 and the spark of life renewed.
The time period in which the movie takes place is ambiguous. The history presented does not correspond clearly to events in actual history. The Fabrication Machine and the machines it creates are technologically advanced, but primitive electronics are also shown. When 4 projects a movie it is in grayscale, as is a hologram of the scientist. The stitchpunks celebrate their apparent victory over the Fabrication Machine by listening to "Over The Rainbow", a song from 1939, on a hand-cranked phonograph. In addition, flashbacks show a war fought in trenches, reminiscent of World War I possibly hinting that the movie may have taken place after that war. In the first third of the film, when 9 and 5 enter a tunnel, in a sign along the tunnel ceiling, the German word Vorsicht can be seen. The robots (not yet designed) built by the Fabrication Machine sport World War 1 era Mini guns, as well as the ability to launch mortar strikes. Also, the bombers that are seen flying over the battlefield and one crashed into the cathedral having cloth propellers, combining WWII era bomber designs with WWI era materials. Some of the automobiles seen scattered around range from the 1920s to the 1930s.
Elijah Woodas 9, the last creation of the scientist.he is the main character of the movie. Fred Tatasciore as 8, who came into being for the purpose to protect the rag dolls from the evil machine uprising. He wields a meat cleaver and half a scissor, a none-too-bright muscle and enforcer of the group, 8, is created to help the others physically survive the dangerous, post-apocalyptic world.
Jennifer Connellyas 7, brave and self-sufficient warrior, 7 is the group's sole female. A fiercely independent adventuress, she has been out patrolling the wasteland. To survive, she has adapted, finding the bones of a deceased bird and crafting her signature skull helmet.9 manages to save her several times and later gains feelings towards him
Crispin Glover as 6, the visionary.
John C. Reilly as 5, who is a caring, nurturing engineer – the loyal, big-hearted “common man” who always tries to play the peacemaker. He is also an apprentice of 2, with whom he shares a special bond. He is also the healer.
3 and 4 are the scholarly twins who voraciously catalogue everything they can see and find, recording and building a massive database for the group of the world that surrounds them and the history that led up to their creation. They do not have voice actors, as they do not speak.
Martin Landau as 2, is a kindly but now frail inventor and explorer who embodies the Scientist’s strong creative spirit. An inquisitive personality, 2 is fearless.
Christopher Plummer as 1, is the Scientist’s first creation. As the elder, he is the self-declared leader of the group.
Alan Oppenheimer as The Scientist, who created the stitchpunks and also invented the fabrication machines. Each of the stichpunks is a component of the Scientist's soul. He used the talisman to suck his soul out and supply 9 with life. At the beginning of the film, one of the first things 9 comes across is the Scientist's lifeless body sprawled on the floor.
9 is produced in part by Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov and Jim Lemley, and was released on September 9, 2009. Animation began in Luxembourg at Attitude Studio, but subsequently moved to Starz Animation in Toronto, Canada. The film was released by Focus Features. Shane Acker directed the film and, with Pamela Pettler and Ben Gluck, wrote the script.
On December 25, 2008, a trailer was released on Apple.com, featuring The Knife's "The Captain" and Coheed and Cambria's "Welcome Home".
In the trailer there were several machines up against the stitchpunk group: the Cat Beast, that appeared in the short film of the same title; The Winged Beast, with movable blades of various types in its mouth; the Seamstress, the hypnotic serpentine creature; Mech Walkers, large two-legged machines armed with a machine gun and poison gas missiles which can kill in a matter of seconds; the Fabrication Machine, a pod-shaped machine with many multi-jointed arms; and several flying blimp-like machines with searchlights. Later trailers also reveal the existence of several small insect-like machines.
Part of the film's marketing strategy was its release date of 9 September 2009 ("9/9/09").
9 is the second animated feature film to be released by Focus Features, the first being Coraline, based on the book by Neil Gaiman. The trailer for 9 preceded the film Coraline when it was shown in theaters and released on DVD.
A second trailer for 9 first appeared on G4's Attack of the Show. It is an extensive trailer which includes a bit of the background story behind the existence of the stitchpunks.
In April 2009, the movie's "Scientist" began making journal entries on a Facebook page called "9 Scientist". Daily thoughts and images of his inventions are updated frequently. The "9 Scientist" Facebook page seemingly references events leading up to the release of the movie 9.
Most recently, a new viral campaign promotional website for 9 has been launched. It sheds some light upon the background of the 9 world.
Critical 9 has received mixed reviews from critics, with its visuals being the most highly praised aspect. Based on 112 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall "Rotten" approval rating of 56% from critics, with the Top Critics ranking it higher, giving it a "Fresh" rating of 65% and the film having an average score of 6/10. The rating from the RT Community has been slightly higher, with a rating of 77%. On Metacritic, it currently holds a score of 60 out of 100 mixed or average reviews. The general sentiment by critics is that the film is "long on imaginative design but less substantial in narrative."  Variety's Todd McCarthy says "In the end, the picture's impact derives mostly from its design and assured execution."
 Box office On opening day, the film made #1 with $3,115,775. Its opening weekend landed it at #2 behind I Can Do Bad All By Myself with approximately $10,856,000 and $15,264,000 for its 5-day opening. As of October 8, 2009, it has grossed US$39,432,162.