Last night, we saw "9" (and not "Nine," or "District 9" -- and is it any coincidence that all these movies are coming out just as the hype about the Beatles Rockband game explodes? Number 9 . . . Number 9 . . . ) It's a visually fabulous, fast-paced and exciting movie. The story is, well, fairly elementary -- in a film like this, a simple story is needed, to avoid running over and drowning out the mise-en-scene. That the film manages moments of happiness and triumph in such a bleak setting speaks to its power.
This has been an amazing year for animated films. "Coraline," "Up," "Ponyo," and "9" show just a fraction of the range of storytelling and visual styles that fit within that rubric.