- Film 1: The Matrix

- The Animatrix:
.. - The Second Renaissance
.. - Kid's Story
.. - Program
.. - World Record
.. - Beyond
.. - A Detective Story
.. - Matriculated
.. - Final Flight of the Osiris /
.........Enter the Matrix

- Film 2: The Matrix Reloaded
- Film 3: The Matrix Revolutions

- Return to Source Documentary:
Philosophy and the Matrix

- Doctor Who
- Sliders
- Star Trek:
. - The Original Series (TOS)
. - The Animated Series
. - The Movies
. - The Next Generation (TNG)
. - Deep Space Nine (DS9)
. - Voyager
. - Enterprise

The Animatrix: Beyond

Region 1
10-disc box set
for North America
Region 2
10-disc box set
for the U.K.
(The Animatrix, segment 7, starring Hedy Burress as Yoko)
  • written and directed by Koji Morimoto
  • produced by Larry and Andy Wachowski, Michael Arias,
    Eiko Tanaka, Hiroaki Takeuchi
  • music by Don Davis
  • 13 min. action plus 8 min. credits
Story: Yoko searches for her cat in a "haunted" house, where the neighbourhood kids are playing with the area's anomalies.

In-Depth Analysis Review

by Martin Izsak

WARNING: This review contains "SPOILERS", and is intended for those who have already seen the story.

This story is one of the two standout gems of the Animatrix, making good use of its extra length.

Like the best of science fiction stories, this one is all about exploring the unknown. Uniquely, it also encourages a child-like acceptance and playfulness towards its unknowns - a throwback to second density awareness and possible trigger for the fourth density - which can be seen as an improvement upon the enemy-centered paradigm and fight-intensive portrayal in the actual live-action movies. Bravo.

Smartly, we get an easily likeable main protagonist with a simple mission, to try and find her cat, which helps keep things moving until curiosity kicks in and takes over. Adults and children alike will have little trouble following this story's plot, or getting invested in it.

In some ways, this story exemplifies something that the films only touch on briefly, which is the idea that bizarre "paranormal" phenomena might have an explanation as a glitch in the fabric of reality, in this case a software problem affecting the generation of the Matrix. But where the films might be seen as trying to neatly wrap up all paranormal phenomena inside this explanation, "Beyond" is much more subtle and open-minded about it. Here it is a definite possibility, shown by example, without making any attempt to be the only possibility. Here, the concept is open and very cool.

"Beyond" has an enjoyable visual style as well. There is plenty here that seems normal in the way that Animé characters are drawn, and in the way that a normal city neighbourhood is portrayed. On top of that it deserves extra kudos for the economical way that it comes alive via multi-layered parallax and other effects to look and feel very 3-dimensional and real, and I must say that the subtle use of sound effects and atmospherics also adds a lot to heighten the everyday reality of the environment, which makes the bizarre all that much more effective by contrast.

Perhaps this story benefits from occurring after "World Record" and to some extent "Kid's Story", as the motivations of the agents and their bizarre utility truck are quite clear despite their very spare appearance and involvement here.

Incidentally, fans of the animated sci-fi series "Futurama" will notice many of the same voice artists hard at work here on the Animatrix, with Tress MacNeille being quite busy on this one. A-Team and Star Trek fans will want to listen out for Dwight Schultz in these as well.

The narrative of "Beyond" has a good arc to it, and does feel satisfyingly complete by the time it is all over. Excellent.

In short, this is one episode of the Animatrix that is worth seeing many times over, and should hopefully be celebrated by Matrix and science-fiction fans everywhere.

Read the In-depth Analysis Review for the next story: "The Animatrix: A Detective Story"

This story is available on DVD and Blu-ray as the seventh segment of "The Animatrix" in The Ultimate Matrix Collection.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you for pricing and availability:

Standard DVD version: Blu-ray version:
DVD NTSC Region 1
The Ultimate Matrix Collection
10-disc set
for the North American market:
Region 1 NTSC

Region 1 NTSC

Region 1 NTSC

DVD PAL Region 2
The Ultimate Matrix Collection 10-disc set
for the U.K. / Europe:
Region 2 PAL

Blu-ray Region A/1
The Ultimate Matrix Collection
for the North American market:

Region A/1

Region A/1

Bilingual Set

DVD Extras for "Beyond" include:

  • making-of featurette (9 min.), with writer/director Koji Morimoto, producers Michael Arias and Hiroaki Takeuchi,
    composer Don Davis, and sound editor Dane Davis.
  • "Scrolls to Screen: The History and Culture of Anime" featurette (22 min.), with executive producer Joel Silver,
    the various segment directors of "The Animatrix" (Peter Chung, Shinichiro Watanabe, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Takeshi Koike, Mahiro Maeda),
    producers Hiroaki Takeuchi, Eiko Tanaka, and Michael Arias, authors Frederik L. Schodt, Gilles Poitras,
    Japanese studies professor Susan J. Napier, "Spawn" creator Todd McFarlane, critic Carlo McCormick, critic/historian Charles Solomon, and
    magazine editors Martin Wong & Eric Nakamura.
  • short text biographies of the directors & producers of "The Animatrix".

Comments on this article are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

Contact page


Read the In-depth Analysis Review for the next story: "The Animatrix: A Detective Story"

Home Page Site Map Star Trek Doctor Who Sliders Sci-fi