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The Animatrix, released in June 2003, is a series of 9 animated short films set in the world of The Matrix. Bringing together some of the most influential talent of the anime world, the creators of The Matrix Trilogy collaborated on each selection to varying degrees. Four of the stories were written by the Wachowski Brothers, with the other five written by the directors themselves.
Four of the films were released completely free-of-charge on the Internet in the months leading up to the release of The Matrix Reloaded. They remain freely available, and you can still download them. A fifth film (Final Flight of the Osiris, informally deemed 'The Matrix 1.5') was shown theatrically with Dreamcatcher to allow viewers to learn the setup for Reloaded before the release of that film.
All 9 animes are available on a single DVD or video, and each film adds depth to the Matrix Trilogy, from backstory on characters and events from the movies, to introducing new characters from the sequels. We strongly suggest you buy or rent the Animatrix before reading any further. Spoilers abound in the following sections.
Go deeper into each Animatrix movie by following the sub-links above.
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Did You Know?
Because of the man vs. machine similarity in storylines between 'The Matrix,' and the 'Terminator' movies, some have suggested they fit together sequentially. The 'Terminator' movies show the intensification of the war as a prequel to The Matrix story, which happens after the machines have found the ultimate way to control humans.