Contains spoilers to The Animatrix. Read if you dare...
is the name of the seventh animated short story of The Animatrix
. It is set inside the Matrix
somewhere in modern day Japan
, and starts with a girl named Yoko looking for her cat Yuki. For some reason or another, the cat was drawn to a haunted house that the local kids try to keep a secret. One of the kids reluctantly leads Yoko to the house, much to the annoyance of his friends. It soon becomes obvious why the house is kept a secret. The building and surrounding property are situated on a point in the Matrix that is experiencing glitches
. The Matrix
places the laws of physics
into our world, so if it fails to establish these rules, they will not apply.
The kids that lead Yoko there have many games that can only be played in the house. One of these involves jumping off a high perch and plummeting down towards the ground. Right before they hit the pavement, they stop themselves in midair with their mind, and the one closest to the ground without touching it wins. Another game involves the Matrix's memory failing, or something similar. It starts when one child smashes a beer bottle on the cement. The shards of glass freeze completely after impact and then reform the original bottle, which flies upwards. The children try to catch the flying bottle before their opponents can.
Other instances of strange happenings include:
- a gray dog licking its shadow up and slowly turning black
- a completely unsupported can of dog food floating four inches off the ground and revolving slowly
- the shadows of Yoko and another girl appear several feet away from where they should
- newspapers suddenly appear and blow violently down a hall before vanishing again
- the sky is clear, but rain pours through a hole in the ceiling anyway
- as Yuki walks by, its shadow on the house is ten feet bigger than it should've been
- after watching a dove fly by in slow motion, Yoko and the kids can become as light as a feather at will
- a room in the house is a complete and utter void, with Yoko's voice emanating from the darkness
- a shattered light bulb still giving light (the light even forms in the shape of a whole bulb, as if the glass was still there)
After we get a chance to see the house's odd qualities, agents arrive on the scene in a peculiar red truck, and close off the area to the public. When the children return to the haunted house the next day, it becomes obvious that the Matrix has replaced the property and fixed the errors there. A brand new parking lot sits where the house once was. The kids smash a bottle on the ground, expecting it to return to them unbroken, but soon realize it is hopeless.
This segment of The Animatrix took two years to make, which was longer than all the others. This was due to the writer/director (Koji Morimoto) changing his mind about the episode repeatedly. If the Wachowski Brothers disagreed with one small detail in Beyond, Morimoto would start all over with a whole new story. The aim of Beyond was to expand on how the Matrix handles errors or rebel programs. In the movies, changes in the Matrix took form as déjà vu, and the rebel programs were seen as ghosts or monsters (the Twins). Beyond shows how the people inside the Matrix react to these instances without any knowledge of the Matrix itself. In this objective, Beyond is a success, and comes off as one of the more interesting pieces in the Animatrix.