Who am I? Something I need to ask myself. I enjoy watching the things I write about, and the review almost plays out in front of my mind when I am watching it. Still, getting started is becoming a challenge. The usual self-doubt follows, is this worth it, is it any good or does it even matter? The answer is that it matters to me, so let us get started. Thank you for suffering my internal crisis for a moment, and join me as a look at Kid’s Story from the Animatrix. I have watched the Animatrix before, but apart from the Renaissance storyline, I don’t remember much about it. However, after watching this episode, the memories came flooding right back, the fog lifted, and a multitude of light poured into my brain in glorious technicolour fashion. Written by the Wachowskis and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, Kid’s Story follows Michael Karl Popper as he tries to make sense of the world around him. Watanabe directed the hugely successful Cowboy Bebop, a series I will watch one day.
Kid’s Story is pretty simple in its structure and similar to Neo’s in many aspects. Micheal Karl Popper is a teenager who feels that something is not right with his life. He spends his nights searching the internet, looking for an answer, and finally receives one. The next day is just like the one before it. However, during class Morpheus calls Michael to let him know that the Matrix has him. Popper is soon chased through the school, eventually leading to the roof with no place to escape. Michael takes a leap of faith and jumps to his; eventual awakening. Neo and trinity are waiting for him in the real world. However, inside the Matrix, Michael’s funeral takes place, and his teacher talks about a teenager that suffered typical mental delusions and lived in a cold and alienating place. Kid’s Story lasts no longer than nine minutes, and you cannot expect anything more, can you? The implications and visual delight of the episode linger in your mind for a long time after that. Plus, I didn’t even realise; it was that Kid?
I found that the animation made this episode so appealing. I enjoy art, but I personally find art galleries to be very curious spaces. I honestly spend most of my time feeling a little underwhelmed, a little stupid and with no real connection to the work in many ways. However, great animation can let my mind explode and fill me with adrenaline that is hard to replicate. I suppose I need to pinpoint what kind of artistic medium I enjoy. Watching Kid’s Story took me back to the first time I watched The Snowman, but also reminded me of the brutality of Gerald Scarfe and his mesmerising animation for Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Ironically both were released in 1982. However, its originality stands on its own and watching this scratchier style of animation is something I will be looking out for in the future. I suppose I bring up art galleries because this is the feeling I want when I visit those places, each scene is beautiful and reminds you of something far richer and meaningful in life. I suppose great art can take your consciousness to another level, and that’s pretty great when it happens to you.
Shinji Hashimoto was the key animator on this project, and this link is an interview about his involvement in the episode.
I suppose another moment to take away from the episode is how Michael managed to use self-substantiation to escape the Matrix. I cannot say if I like the idea that someone can leave the Matrix without the help of Morpheus and his team, but I’m not the person writing it. However, I do love the imagery that Popper visualised before his awakening. Plus, the visions of the birds in the sky are yet, another piece of art.
All in all, a fantastic episode. I guess we all wonder about our place in the universe at one time or another. The Wachowskis understand how people feel on this planet, and I am glad they are around. I did find the funeral scene a little hard to take. How many times has this story been told before in the real world? I suppose science-fiction has always asked the hard questions. The truth is we are never alone. Especially now, in a landscape that can lead you to others with the same interests with a click of a button. Whatever brings you joy in life is out there, waiting for you.
Thank you for visiting today. What did you make of Kid’s Story? Please let me know in the comments below. If you would like to follow my journey into the Matrix, please subscribe and check out my other reviews in the link below. Take care and see you soon.