Enter the Animatrix This June

Since the ground-breaking, action-packed, futuristic box office smash The Matrix was heavily inspired by anime, it’s only fitting that it inspire a series of anime shorts. Combining CG and Japanese-style animation, Warner Home Video and Village Roadshow Pictures’ The Animatrix is set for release on DVD and VHS on June 3.

The Animatrix is a collection of nine original short films conceived by the Wachowski Brothers, creators of The Matrix trilogy, and directed by some of the biggest names in anime. Credits include Yoshiaki Kawajiri (writer/director, Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D), Shinchiro Watanabe (writer/director, Cowboy Bebop), Koji Morimoto (animation supervisor, Akira), Mahiro Maeda (director, Blue Submarine No. 6), Takeshi Koike (lead animator on several of director Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s films including Wicked City), Peter Chung (creator/director, Aeon Flux) and Andy Jones (animation director, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within).

The short film series delves deeper into the mind-bending world of The Matrix and the characters who inhabit it. Actors Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss even reprise their roles by lending their voices to two of the entries.

Eager fans won’t have to wait until June to get a taste of the The Animatirx. One complete episode, The Final Flight of the Osiris, will accompany the theatrical release of the supernatural thriller Dreamcatcher on March 21. The nine-minute, computer-generated short written by Larry and Andy Wachowski serves as a prelude to The Matrix Reloaded. Several complete episodes will also be available for download at http://www.theanimatrix.com

The Animatrix DVD will come loaded with “making of” featurettes, audio commentaries and a preview of the Enter the Matrix video game. The June 3 release date will drop it between the May 15 theatrical debut of The Matrix Reloaded and the November bow of The Matrix Revolutions. It will retail for the suggested price of $24.98 DVD and $19.98 VHS.