9 is the latest feature animation movie, all computer graphics, and something of a close out to the summer big-action fare. Not from Disney*Pixar or Dreamworks or Fox, it brings an original style and vision. The opening sequence is gorgeous and scattered through the movies are brilliant, novel scenes to take in. Unfortunately, the stunning show-off scenes are the beginning and end of this movie's strengths. 9 is post-apocalyptic story about the surviving remnant -- nine sentient ragdolls. It feels like a movie where an artist created a gorgeous and unique scene or demo sequence -- ragdolls struggling for survivial in an alternate reality, post-apocalyptic world -- and when confronted with the prospect of actually making an entire movie, grabbed a hodgepodge of cliches, a half-baked backstory, blended them together and called it done. The characters are dull; there's nothing to make an emotional connection with them. The plotting is forced and ultimately logically inconsistent. The visuals are at times gorgeous and stirring, but this stirring vision is not maintained, hindered by the lack of interesting story. We start with the awakening of the ragdoll, "9", indicated by the "9" painted on his back. His is ignorant of his origins, and so is our stand-in. We soon meet his brethren, each also with their particular number painted on its back, to help us tell them apart. And each has its equivalently painted-on personality: Leader, Strong Man, Fighter, Healer, and so on. And that's the extent of their character development. If, in the opening minutes, our freshly awakened hero, 9, had done the obvious thing -- the thing he's just about to do until distracted by something shiny -- the story would be resolved immediately and there would be no movie. Instead, the movie writers willfully force the characters to avoid doing the obviously sensible things to drag out the story. And despite the artificial stretching of the story, the movie still only ekes out 80 minutes. And at the end, 9 finally gets around to doing what he should have done at first, the thing that he was told multiple times to do by another ragdoll, and the movie ends. And with that ending, it still makes no sense. If you're an animation nut, this is worth watching for the stirring vistas and some kinematic sequences. If you're about 12 years old, then this may rock your world -- I think to my passion for "Black Hole" and "Tron" and "Dark Crystal" some 25 years ago in my youth and think this might do the same for today's kids. But if you want rich characters, strong story, real emotional investment -- the movies that Pixar makes -- then skip 9 and re-watch Up.