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1st Episode Of Animatrix Released 285

Posted by timothy
from the there-isn't-one dept.
Devistater writes "The official Matrix page has word of the first officially released widescreen Anime episode of the Animatrix for download (in quicktime format). This is the first of 4 free episodes that will be released on the web. A total of 9 episodes will be availible for purchase on DVD within the next few months. The feature-quality anime shorts range in length from 6 minutes to 16 minutes. There's a trailer availible if you want to get a taste for what they will be like."
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1st Episode Of Animatrix Released

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  • Pretty impressive (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hays (409837)
    Technically speaking, the trailer was very impressive I thought. You might have to suspend belief for a second to believe the plot, as outlined, but it was very pretty and had some powerful imagery.
  • Huzzzah! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jim Ethanol (613572) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @07:52AM (#5230283) Homepage
    Anime and The Matrix! Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together! I even Shutdown eMule to download this ;) -JE
    • ...4 free episodes that will be released on the web. A total of 9 episodes will be availible for purchase on DVD within the next few months.

      I think more movie companies should do that with miniseries and stuff, give out the first few episodes for free so they get more exposure. I mean, it's an incredibly smart way of letting people know what the premis is, and it also shows a lot of goodwill on the part of the company. I think I just might buy the boxed set due to this, whereas previously I wasn't really that interested in it, and I think overall there are a lot of people like that.

      Of course there are also people who will just dl the first 4 eps, then pirate the rest. :P

  • by al_fruitbat (617734) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @07:53AM (#5230288)
    Why do robots need to wear safety construction helmets? ;-)
  • Download link... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Corrupt System (636550) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @07:54AM (#5230289)
    Here it is: The Second Renaissance Part 1 [aol.com]
  • wget + $this.url(); (Score:5, Informative)

    by danalien (545655) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @08:00AM (#5230305) Homepage
    eeyy.

    for lame masterl, simply do: wget http://progressive.stream.aol.com/wb/gl/wbonline/p rogressive/thematrix/us/med/animatrixlgfinal_dl.mo v

    !note it's mov not mo v :P
  • ...and avoid QuickTime(TM) player, you can try:

    wget "http://progressive.stream.aol.com/wb/gl/wbonline/ progressive/thematrix/us/med/animatrixlgfinal_dl.m ov"

    Have Fun!

  • by limekiller4 (451497) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @08:06AM (#5230323) Homepage
    Here is a to the 640-width trailer [warnerbros.com] for everyone who would like to perhaps save it locally and not use the imbedded junk. I hate that.

    As for the trailer ...wow. Aren't I articulate? This is, essentially, fanfic. And it is pretty damned good.

    God bless timothy for posting this at 6:49AM. =)
  • Damn (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dnaumov (453672) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @08:10AM (#5230337)
    Heh, the first QuickTime movie that MPlayer fails on me with :(

    Starting playback...
    mjpeg: JFIF header found (version: 1.1)
    mjpeg: unsupported coding type (c2)
    VDec: Codec did not set sh->disp_w and sh->disp_h, trying workaround.
    Error while decoding frame!04 ct: -0.000 3/ 3 0% 0% 0.0% 0 0 0%
    mjpeg: unsupported coding type (cf)0.000 5/ 5 0% 0% 0.0% 0 0 0%
    mjpeg: unsupported coding type (cf)

    etc...
    • Re:Damn (Score:4, Informative)

      by Pathwalker (103) <hotgrits@yourpants.net> on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @08:52AM (#5230424) Homepage Journal
      Hmmm - the codec is Photo-Jpeg.

      Basically a bunch of normal jpegs in sequence, not even Motion-Jpeg. It's about as simple as you can get for a video codec.

      I am amazed that mplayer would have trouble with that...
      • Hmmm - the codec is Photo-Jpeg.

        It's not:

        MOV: Warning! Variable FOURCC detected!?

        To me, it looks like there is *one* photo-frame (menu?) and then the movie, and all in one stream (stupid arrangement) which throws mplayer off

      • Found this patch [mplayerhq.hu] on the MPlayer-Users mailing list.

        Now, if someone could just tell me how to apply it... :)
        • Hey, thanks for the link, I got it working:

          1. Save the patch into a file, say, mpqt.patch
          2. Get the latest MPlayer sources.
          3. cd MPlayer/libmpdemux/; patch < /where/is/mpqt.patch
          4. cd ..; ./configure; make; (make install)
          5. Profit!
          • Thanks. I managed to work that out, and compiled and ran it...the problem is, it's not a perfect patch. There are two audio streams involved in the movie: the matrix-code-and-chirping-letters sound of the opener, and then the music and voiceover for the anime. They're supposed to play one after the other...but instead, they play simultaneously. As a result, the movie is about 10 seconds out of sync with the sound.
    • Re:Damn (Score:2, Informative)

      by timmfin (556042)
      I have the mplayer mozilla plugin version .34 and it works fine. My mplayer is .90_rc3
  • It's great! The visuals are spectacular. If you've read the manga on the Matrix site before you will recognize both the style and some of the characters. I really admire the producers of the Matrix for not just turning it into a movie franchise, but into a fully-fledged universe, like Star Wars did. I'm looking forward to the rest...
  • Interesting but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tjensor (571163) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @08:20AM (#5230358) Journal
    ... In the first film it they intimated that they didnt really know much history - they didnt even know the date. This seems to show quite a detailed history of what happened.

    Its also quite sympathetic to the machines. If you are one of the last of a group which has almost been wiped out, you are unlikely to see your history from the point of view of those who did the wiping.
    • I think that's part of the reason it's done as anime, rather than live-action: to distinguish between the two points of view. The manga on the Matrix website is done from two points of view: that of the robots, before the war, and that of people still inside the Matrix who become aware in some way that the world may not be "real". Perhaps later episodes will take the human, trapped-in-the-matrix perspective.
    • by jgerman (106518) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:07AM (#5230455)
      Just because "they" as in the characters in the first movie didn't know much of the history doesn't mean that there can't be other stories which do illuminate the history in the setting. Also the humans you meet in the Matrix are initially from humans that had been grown/put to sleep. The seeting of the movie is after the machines enslaved mankind.
      • by PenguiN42 (86863)
        Yes, but this story is from the "Zion archives" ... implying that the humans in the movie-era should have had access to this information.
        • You still need to take time into account. When in the Zion archives did this information exist? This viewing of this material could take place 100, 10, or 2 years after the movie, when the information has been discovered and catalogued. You also need to take into account how much information that the Zion "elders" (I believe they use that term at some point) have released to the human populace at large. It's easily explainable.
          • Zion "elders" (I believe they use that term at some point)

            Really? There was some Nazi (or was it Soviet?) propeganda released called 'The Secret Protocols of the Elders of Zion' or something similar, which detailed how the Jewish supposedly were really running the world... I wonder....

  • Just image Fred Flintstone kicking Snagglepuss's ass then switching a sweet bullettime pan of scooby doo standing and.. get this.. BLINKING.. OMG... that would Ownzor...

  • What does The Matrix have to do with anime? As far as I know, The Matrix is an American movie. Have they hired a Japanese studio to make the animation? Or is it just an American studio trying to mimic the Japanese styles?

    (I haven't watched the videos yet, I'm downloading them right now.)
    • The movie was heavily influenced by anime and asian action films.. makes sense to do anime stories of the matrix.
    • by truenoir (604083) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:59AM (#5230656)
      As already mentioned, the Matrix was *definitely* influenced by anime (and martial arts movies). Story has many similarities to Lain (as mentioned) and also Ghost in the Shell. In fact, there's a website pointing out the similar scenes http://www.geocities.com/tacobelll/matrixgits/ Even the green text stuff was in the opening credits for the GiTS movie. Of course, that's not to say that the animes didn't get influenced by earlier sci-fi works and such, however, the Matrix bears a lot of sylistic similarity to anime, particularly GiTS and Lain (when she starts getting into the Wired, got wires clipped to herself as the interface...).
    • The Matrix Revisited has a 10-minute feature that explains how it came about. The Wachowskis got some of the best and brightest animators in Japan (and a couple from outside of Japan) to do some anime shorts for them. The animators, all of whom were enthralled with The Matrix, were only too happy to oblige. (And why shouldn't they be? The Wachowskis stole the memes from their anime; they were only just taking them back again. :)

      The announcement of the Animatrix last year did answer one burning question...it was mentioned in news stories that, aside from Final Fantasy, Square USA would produce only one other bit of animation--a short film--but it was never mentioned what it was. Then, when it was announced, a lot of people were going, "Ohhhh!"
  • by magarity (164372) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @08:40AM (#5230399)
    The problem with The Matrix was its message: technology is inherently bad. The dialog places the blame of the whole Matrix world being due to "scientists messing with things they shouldn't" (paraphrased). Other movies, like the Terminator series, are just as bad. I don't get why such a blatantly anti-technology movie is so popular with the technology crowd, other than appreciation for the work that went into the special effects.
    • It's because the message is not that technology is inherently bad. In fact the technology aspects of it weren't strictly necessary. The movie could have easily been done with a race of aliens enslaving humans, or a group of wizards. The way it was presented, however, was a suitably plausible way of telling the story. The underlying messages, of which there are many I'm amazed at the tremendous amount of thought that went into the first movie (and also afraid that the new ones will be nothing more than action movies), focus more on metaphysical questions.


      Additionally, the concept of the universe (similar to the Terminator universe) is that there was a conflict between humans and artificial life. The first movie was told from the viewpoint of a human, of course a human would view the robots as evil, they're the enemy. A story told from the viewpoint of one of the robots wouldn't portray technology as bad at all. Watch the first Animatrix, there is definitely a pro-machine slant to it.

    • by tbmaddux (145207) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:28AM (#5230537) Homepage Journal
      I don't get why such a blatantly anti-technology movie is so popular with the technology crowd, other than appreciation for the work that went into the special effects.
      Exploring the consequences of an increasing dependence upon technology is one of the classic themes of science fiction -- man builds computers or robots (take your pick), computers/robots become self-aware and decide to turn on their creator, man must fight for his freedom. It's right up there with time travel and means of transporting people/stuff faster than the speed of light.

      These things are all MacGuffins. Don't let them distract you from the storytelling.

      What makes science fiction interesting is not the idea of self-aware computers that want to kill us, or time travel, but the implications of those things for future societies... how people respond to them. Dan Simmons wrote one of the best S.F. stories I've ever read in "Hyperion" and its follow-ups and I'm pretty sure he used all three of those MacGuffins, maybe more. Alfred Bester wrote two incredible novels that, using your analysis, were "anti-telepathy" or "anti-teleportation," but in fact they were much more.

      There are lots of bad S.F. books and films out there as well that explore (or try, or maybe don't even try) the same themes. "The Matrix" and the first two "Terminator" movies certainly were not bad. You might argue that one or more (or all) of those episodes of ST:TOS where Kirk blows up the evil computer controlling a society, or his ship, are better examples of how not to do it.

      So, to sum up, it's not only Hollywood, it's not really Luddism, and if done right can be really interesting and enjoyable.

    • Oh, come on. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:33AM (#5230553)
      The problem with The Matrix was its message: technology is inherently bad. The dialog places the blame of the whole Matrix world being due to "scientists messing with things they shouldn't" (paraphrased). Other movies, like the Terminator series, are just as bad. I don't get why such a blatantly anti-technology movie is so popular with the technology crowd, other than appreciation for the work that went into the special effects.


      Don't be silly. The insistence that people must belong to one camp or another is tiresome in the extreme.

      Technology is just technology. It's not something to be For or Against. All it represents is the ability to use the natural elements of the Universe around us. What bothers people is the total lack of regard and responsibility displayed by those who make big, messy displays as they use Technology; as they interact with the Universe in destructive, dirty and dangerous ways which affect the world and everybody around them whether we like it or not. Technology isn't ruining the world. It's the greedy morons who are using technology in the negative who are ruining the world.

      Films like The Matrix and Terminator aren't anti-technology. Heck, Frankenstein, the grand daddy of Luddite-style thinking, isn't anti-technology, even if Mary Shelly thought that it was, (and I'm not at all convinced that English professors are correct in their claim that she did!). These are messages which address the very real concerns that technology placed in the hands of greedy assholes is, in no uncertain terms, bloody dangerous!

      I don't see anything wrong or misplaced in these concerns, or in being interested in the issues raised by those concerns. And in any case, The Matrix and Terminator were entertaining for more than just their sociological and special effects values. They were exciting films, for flip's sake! Change out of your camp tee-shirt, get on the bus, and come back to reality.


      -Fantastic Lad --"Ain't no flies on us!"

    • by glesga_kiss (596639) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @10:35AM (#5230809)
      was its message: technology is inherently bad.

      Were we watching the same film?

      It says nothing about technology being bad. If you look past the fact that they are machines and see them as a people you can see many elements of some of the biggest fuckups in human history. The number of references to these were staggering. Off the top of my head (after just seeing it once), I got the following:

      • Surpressing other "peoples" civil rights for your own benefits.
      • The right to self-determination.
      • Slavery (obvious pyramid reference)
      • Trade sanctions against a country just because they are successful or you don't like them.
      • Inability to accept or listen to someone because they are different.
      • Attemping to surpress a people using force will come back and bite you.

      They are undoubtably more in there that I missed.

      I could cite a dozen references to each of these in the past 100 years alone. So called "modern society" in the west is guilty of most of them, some we are doing right now! Mainly, I thought the short was about how we repeat the same mistakes again and again and never seem to learn. With what is going on in the world at the moment, it's clear that we haven't learned a thing from history.

      But nowhere was it implied that technology is "bad". At the most it was a futuristic negative utopia (1984, Brazil, Blade Runner), and it's clear that future human society will be utilising more and more technology, so it goes without saying that AI/machines will feature in it.

      Watch it again, this time viewing the machines as people, sort of a "working class" society.

      I gotta say, it was one of the most thought provoking things I've seen in a while. Very impressed, and normally I'm not remotely interested in Anime.

      • Mainly, I thought the short was about how we repeat the same mistakes again and again and never seem to learn. With what is going on in the world at the moment, it's clear that we haven't learned a thing from history.

        We've all learned well enough. We're just too lazy and comfortable to act on the lessons, and who can blame us?

        "Man, I've been fragging on Quake III for seven hours straight while surfing for pr0n during the high ping times. Guess I need to go out to the backyard and plow up my wheat field to get my lazy ass back to nature."

        Right. Sorry, but until my box grows a hand and gives me a bitch slap, my curvy ass is staying put abusing it.
    • I wouldn't say its anti-technology. I think it's more about technology gone bad. Not anti-technology in general.

      All forms of technology have good/bad sides. A subtle example is the old bow + arrow. Somewhat Good: Kill animals easier for survival and food. Bad: Kill our fellow man easier as well.

      How about something more drastic: Atomic fusion. Good: Very powerful energy source. Bad: Very powerful bombs.

      I think really one of the points is to make sure we guide the technology, not follow it.

    • That's kind of why I find this Animatrix short so interesting. The dialogue in The Matrix does indeed make the machines out to be evil. But this anime places more of the blame--a lot more of it--on the humans of the day, whose luddism and fear and unwillingness to reach an agreement with the machines who just wanted to live in peace apparently led to the whole thing.

      It becomes a lot harder to blame the machines for creating the Matrix after seeing this short.
  • I always wondered how Terminators would take over...Now I don't have to wait for the movie..

    Oh wait..

    The animation seems to fit both stories..

    Animation was quite well done though. Thank goodness its early.
  • Dammit..... (Score:2, Funny)

    by 6Yankee (597075)

    I saw "Animatrix" and thought "female animator". Bad hormones! *smack*

  • by Mantrid (250133) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:05AM (#5230449) Journal
    I watched this last night (the short they released, not the trailer) saw some thing on it while my wife was watching Access Hollywood or ET...), it was neat animation and all, although the large format wasn't working, but the story wasn't that great. In fact it was actually quite disillusioning (is that a word?)- it seems like the humans were very mean to the robots - there was a robot holocaust and they were just defending themselves, trying to be free etc...so really what rights do the humans in The Matrix have to complain??? According to the short, they brought it on themselves.

    Oh well, I'm just going to pretend I didn't watch it...
    • The humans may have brought it on themselves then, but that's no reason future generations should suffer for the actions of their ancestors.
    • Forvere? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Duds (100634) <dudley&enterspace,org> on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @11:24AM (#5231155) Homepage Journal
      So by the same token we should occupy germany forever because they were mean to use several generations ago?
    • I watched this last night (the short they released, not the trailer) saw some thing on it while my wife was watching Access Hollywood or ET...), it was neat animation and all, although the large format wasn't working, but the story wasn't that great. In fact it was actually quite disillusioning (is that a word?)- it seems like the humans were very mean to the robots - there was a robot holocaust and they were just defending themselves, trying to be free etc...so really what rights do the humans in The Matrix have to complain??? According to the short, they brought it on themselves.

      No, they didn't. Given things like Agent Smith's comment that "entire crops were lost" when early incarnations of the Matrix failed, the humans in the Matrix were very likely grown by the machines for their power plant. The machines could be seen as abused children who are now lashing out at their children because that's all they understand about humans.

      Either way, humans have an opportnity to break the cycle of violence; maybe Neo will figure that out in the last two movies. I kind of doubt it, because "can't we all just get along?" doesn't mesh well with awesome fight sequences...

      Jay (=
  • Matrix 3 (Score:5, Funny)

    by ag3n7 (442539) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:10AM (#5230463)
    I can just see it now...

    Morpheus: Neo, we now have the ultimate weapon against the machines... a weapon so powerful that our victory is insured...

    neo just stands there with his mouth hanging open

    Morpheus: The Slashdot effect. Named after cyber attack (per the DMCA in the early 2000s), it harnests the power of millions of overweight single geeks checking out the newest movie clip at the same time. This will allow us destroy the machines once and for all.

    Neo: whoa
    -- ;-)
  • by Khyron (8855) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:17AM (#5230494)
    Someone please mod these up! Here are the actual URL's for the Quicktime files of episode one. Since the site is pegged at the moment, few people can even navigate the pages. However these links should feed you the movies directly, at least until The Slashdot Effect inspires WB or Apple to move them, hehe.

    I would reccomend using a tool like wget or lftp to grab them, as my connection reset several times while downloading (due to the traffic I imagine).

    Small (30MB+):
    http://progressive.stream.aol.com/wb/gl/wbonline/p rogressive/thematrix/us/med/animatrixsmfinal_dl.mo v [aol.com]

    Medium (90MB+):
    http://progressive.stream.aol.com/wb/gl/wbonline/p rogressive/thematrix/us/med/animatrixmedfinal_dl.m ov [aol.com]

    Large (140MB+):
    http://progressive.stream.aol.com/wb/gl/wbonline/p rogressive/thematrix/us/med/animatrixlgfinal_dl.mo v [aol.com]

  • by SensitiveMale (155605) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:22AM (#5230511)
    Dammit, I can't download the file.

    I gotta stop others from leeching until I can get the file.
  • by Spencerian (465343) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:23AM (#5230520) Homepage Journal
    It's nice to have choices in entertainment, and a market that drives the creation of stuff like this.

    While I like the "Star Wars" universe and even enjoy a few meager facets of the worn-out "Star Trek" universe, it's great to find anime used to generate realism and convincing stories within a very intriguing framework like the "Matrix" movies.

    It's not extremely original, the story. We've got a basic Arthurian legend story going in the same way in the latter "Star Wars" movies. But, as any writer would tell you, it's all in the presentation. And present this offering does. Very fun to watch, and illuminating.
  • wget http://progressive.stream.aol.com/wb/gl/wbonline/p rogressive/thematrix/us/med/animatrixlgfinal_dl.mo v

    or

    curl -o http://progressive.stream.aol.com/wb/gl/wbonline/p rogressive/thematrix/us/med/animatrixlgfinal_dl.mo v
  • Okay, not only is the site using Quicktime to view the previews, but the site's size is hard coded to 1024x768, with no scroll bars. Had to resize the screen just to get download links. Quite annoying.
  • Drats.

    I was hoping it would be filled with some disturbing imagery.

    </joking asside>

    *shudder*

    About two minutes in, I had to stop watching it at work for fear someone would see it over my shoulder and be offended. I guess I'll watch it later.
  • server's hosed. I keep trying to get it and I get a good rate for a while, then the cxn dies. OK, *this* is what would make me willing to pay for a subscription--if stories went into the subscribers area 1 hour before showing up on the main board. At least when big downloads are involved.
  • by vidnet (580068) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @11:41AM (#5231273) Homepage
    They've listened to your "If I could try it for free [from a fast server/in good quality/in a non-drm format], I'd be more likely to buy it" comments!

    I've always thought people said that to justify their copyright violations.. well, now's your chance to prove me, and more importantly WB, wrong.

    • What? They're only releasing half the shorts online. Based on seeing this, I *do* want to buy the DVD. Indeed, I'm sure many people here feel the same way. ::pokes around the Matrix site looking for a release date::
  • Get it at Kazaa! (Score:3, Informative)

    by natron 2.0 (615149) <ndpeters79&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @12:14PM (#5231572) Homepage Journal
    For all of you still trying to watch the streamed QT version online, you can now download the High Def version (145Mb) on Kazaa.

  • if anybody wants a copy reply to this and let me know I'll let you know when I get it done.
  • I finished downloading it about five minutes before it appeared on Slashdot....
  • Looks like a variation on the /. effect.

    Navigating the site is nice & easy, and what I get from the download is at full bandwidth (150k/dsl).

    However, I get 5-10% complete with the download and it just terminates.

    Safari, IE, even curl.

    Can someone get a mirror up?
    • Re:Ugh... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dr00g911 (531736)
      Found a solution.

      Apparently Quicktime Player itself will piece the thing together, even if the server drops the connection repeatedly.

      From within Quicktime Player, go to File --> Open URL in New Player

      They cut and paste:

      http://progressive.stream.aol.com/wb/gl/wbonline /p rogressive/thematrix/us/med/animatrixlgfinal_dl.mo v

      Worked like a charm. Full speed ahead.
  • by mxs (42717) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @05:02PM (#5234255)

    animatrixlgfinal_dl_mov.torrent [scarywater.net]

    Since the main site seems to have been hit hard by this slashdotting, try getting it from this BitTorrent site [scarywater.net]; Please leave your download window open as long as possible after finishing the download to help out others getting the file.

    BitTorrent is a peer to peer file swarmer. You can get the client from http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/download.html [bitconjurer.org]; it is Free, open, and does not contain ad/spyware; versions exist for *ix, win32, OS X, etc.

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