The world of The Matrix is full of mythology, religion, and history.
The world of The Matrix is full of mythology, religion, and history. Fans of the film series will understand more of its background by watching the nine anime short films presented here. Details about how the matrix was formed to how it affects "knowing" humans are just some of the themes explored in the shorts. The disc's special features include "Scrolls to Screen: The History and Culture of Anime," which traces anime's roots back to Japanese wood-block and scroll art. The feature further discusses how anime became much more influential after World War II, when there was a pent-up demand for entertainment and a lack of movie theaters in Japan. A U.S. subculture of fans grew in the 1980s, when the bootlegging and exchanging of tapes became big business. The disc also includes background on each of the shorts' creators and discusses animation effects that are used in them. For example, in "Final Flight of the Osiris," a special focus on faces and skin makes the characters more realistic. A combination of computer-generated and hand-drawn animation was used to create part one of the "Second Renaissance" shorts, and an older type of drawing infused "Kid's Story" with a unique look.—JK