"Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7-8-9!" Although the logic of this riddle may puzzle adults, the word- (or number-) play slays 'em in the schoolyard. Likewise, older viewers may find little to admire about Shane Acker's feature-length expansion of his Oscar-nominated 10-minute 2005 short, other than its CGI visuals. But what visuals!
Even if the story doesn't benefit from being stretched to nearly 80 minutes, the post-apocalyptic plains (scorched from a retro-futuristic man/machine war) and Steampunk designs will divert attention from the narrative deficiencies. Not that the schoolyard set will care — though some of the action might be a bit too intense for the very young.
"9" (voiced by Elijah Wood), a handcrafted eight-inch robot with a burlap exterior, awakens to discover he's the last of his kind (the others are named "1," "2," and so on), and their potential savior. Although the film is unclear about his purpose, he can outrun slo-mo explosions like the best movie heroes.