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The Animatrix: Beyond
Written By: Koji Morimoto
Directed By: Koji Morimoto
Set in an unidentified Asian city in the Matrix, Beyond is a haunted house story with a twist. The twist is that the house isn't haunted, it's a glitch in the Matrix. Some piece of code isn't executing as expected, and kids from the neighborhood flock to the house to experience the weirdness.
Yoko, our main character, is led to the house by her wandering cat. While exploring, she experiences all sorts of unusual behavior: a section of the house where it's raining, cans that float in mid-air, doors that go nowhere, and best of all the characters get to slow down time and do leaps and twirls reminiscent of someone who's jacked into the Matrix knowing how to bend its rules.
As Yoko explores the house, the machines finally identify the error and send a cleanup truck to fix it. After a quick and painless 'search-and-replace', the broken-down house is gone, and a parking lot stands in its place. The kids return, hoping the parking lot is still haunted, but they leave disappointed. The location has lost its magic - it's been 'reconfigured'.
A light story, missing the menacing overtones of most of the other episodes, Beyond nicely dovetails with the Oracle's comment that ghosts and werewolves are glitches in the Matrix. Apparently, so are haunted houses.
Also by this director:
Akira (animation supervisor)
Memories (segment director)
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Did You Know?
Neo's opening scene in The Matrix shows the computer displaying 'Wake up Neo'. This echoes HAL's opening line in '2001: A Space Odyssey'.