It seems like we've waited forever for the highly anticipated animated feature 9. But it finally hits theaters today, on the numerically significant release date of 9/9/09.
So here is director Shane Acker's original eleven-minute animated short that started it all.
Acker started out with Atom Films, but soon transitioned into working for Peter Jackson's FX studio WETA, working on FX for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
In 2005, he wrote and directed this short film that would go on to be nominated for an Academy Award. It also caught Tim Burton’s eye, who would go on to Produce the full feature 9.
Here's a mini bio for Acker:
Shane Acker is an award-winning director, animator and designer.
The 11-minute short…which the feature is based on, premiered at Sundance in 2005 and has garnered numerous awards including the gold medal at the student Academy Awards, “Best in Show” at the 2005 SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006.
Shane has a multidisciplinary background, studying architecture for several years before becoming a filmmaker. He is a graduate of UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture where he received both a Masters Degree in Architecture and a MFA in Animation.
Shane currently resides in Los Angeles where he freelances as a 3d artist, director and instructor while actively developing his own independent films.
The character design in the short looks pretty much exactly the same, but the characters are unable to talk. Obvioulsy not the case for the full length, as it stars the voice talents of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, and Christopher Plummer.
FilmSchoolRejects, who dug up this video cautions, "it has a lot of the story elements (including a redacted sort of ending)." So if you plan on seeing the full length film, this is a nice way to look at the evolution of a story, but it also may be spoilerish.
Check it out and let us know what you think!