Curiosities | ‘9 – Salvation’, underrated animation produced by Tim Burton, turns 13!
In 2009, the director Shane Acker and the producers Jim Lemley, Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov brought to life one of the most underrated animations of the 2000s: ‘9 – Salvation’.
The plot brings Elijah Wood as the voice of a rag doll known as 9, who comes to life and finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world where humans no longer exist. The only signs of life are dolls like him, which are hunted by machines. 9 then convinces his comrades that the only way to survive is to stop hiding and go on the offensive, as civilization depends on their success.
Bringing names like John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau and Fred Tatasciore to the cast, the film ended up not being a huge success at the box office (raising US$48.4 million) and received a mixed reception from critics – which reiterates the fact that it is underrated, even more considering the subtle depth of its main themes.
In 2022, ‘9 – Salvation’ completes 13 years since its release in theaters and, to celebrate its anniversary, we prepared a brief list bringing some backstage triviawhich you can see below:
- The film marked Acker’s official directorial debut.
- Acker originally envisioned the film as a ten-minute short, which even garnered an Oscar nomination. Despite not winning, Acker was offered to expand it into a feature film.
- A wise choice by the marketing department was to give the film a release date for September 9, 2009 (09/09/09).
- The clock of Notre Dame Cathedral that appears in the work is locked in time 9:09 am.
- The first ten minutes have almost no dialogue – just like the original short film.
- The 3 and 4 design is based on a pair of gardening gloves – the thumb can be seen at the back, while the cuff is tied at the top.
- One of the main inspirations for the dark atmosphere of the feature film was the city of Vienna, Austria, in the post-World War II period.
- Since Burton was in charge of production, some of his trademarks appeared in ‘9 – Salvation’such as the outsider/alienated theme triumphing over adversity and imagery schemes (as seen in the funeral scene, which borrowed references from ‘Batman: Returns’). In addition, the soundtrack brought the collaboration of Danny Elfmanone of Burton’s longtime partners.
- The film begins with a montage of a character being sewn together. Interestingly, there is a similar opening in ‘Coraline and the Secret World’animation that was also released in 2009 and was supervised by Focus Features.
- The nine dolls are never in one particular place together in the entire movie – until the funeral scene at the end of the third. Even so, five of them are ghosts.
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