9 Shane Acker's Oscar nominated short is a genuinely exciting movie, so much so that I will not reveal the ending - promise. You will hear more of the director for he has teamed with up with Tim Burton and a clutch of stars voicing the characters (Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer and Crispin Glover), directing a feature length film projected for release in September this year - see high definition trailer. The rag doll 9 and his companion scuttle amidst the discarded remnants of a humananity without the humans, the planet seemingly having undergone apocalypse. 9 (to be voiced in the feature by former hobbit Elijah Wood) sees one of his friends slain by a mechanical praying mantis, the beast seemingly devouring the life force of its prey. In a series of flashback sequences, the significance of the construction and activity at the start of the movie becomes clear. 9 is a terrific movie and one can readily see why Burton took such a shine to it. The rag dolls are affecting creatures, goggles for eyes, generating a sound like a zoom lens, a bounding run and sharp movements, eyes always on the look-out for danger, and bodies made from sacking with either zips or buttons into which they delve to extract tools or a curious metal box that beams light at times of danger, rather as did Frodo's sword Sting in the presence of Orcs. The director conveys movingly the relationship between two of the dolls, 5 and 9, as the latter learns the secret of light from his partner. When the monster tears down on the dolls there is more than a fizz of danger and the final confrontation between 9 and his demon is one to savour. Made with Maya and the Adobe toolset, the backdrop is impressive with the ruins full of rusting material the rag doll scavengers utilise with ingenuity. A student of University of California, Los Angeles where he obtained his degree in Computer Science and Engineering, Shane made the movie in 2004. He also worked on the CGI for Lord of the Rings.