WARNING: Slight spoilers ahead.
I finally saw 9 today, and overall I enjoyed the film. There were some truly awesome aspects of it and some let downs. Having seen the short long before any mention of a feature, it was interesting to see where the filmmakers would take the story.
First off, this is a film of details. The visual aspect of the film was astounding! The angles of the shots and construction of the scenes were a lot like a live-action film. The way the machines are shot really play up their sinister feel and their construction of a mixture of metal and found objects add to their creepiness.
The let downs of the film lie in the story. I mean how are you going to extend a short subjec into a feature? The additions and changes are interesting, but the story was still very simple and the movie relied heavily on its visual excitement and wonder. I found connections in the film that it did not address or acknowledge and found me questioning things that I believe were either supposed to be assumed by the end or that the filmmakers did not fully explain. The ending especially, where we realize that characters may return, but they instead are released as ghosts that fly up and cause rain. Why?
In the end, I will be picking this up on DVD if only for the awesome visuals and character designs. I feel there could have been more to be worked with the idea of soul stealing and the way it could have been presented, but I still enjoyed the film.