2009 was a pretty good year for machinima. We saw some new work, new artists, and new ideas hit the WoW movie scene. We even saw the resurgence of some friendly old faces, as well as the completion of a few legendary projects. This was a transformative year in many ways, and I'm excited to see what might come around as a result in 2010.
What follows behind the cut are about 10 memorable movies from 2009. They are in no particular order. Since so much is in the eye of the beholder, I didn't even try and consider a "best of" list for 2009 machinima. There's no doubt important movies that aren't on the list, so I'm not even saying these are the 10 most important. These are just 10 movies (and creators) who have stood out in the minds of WoW.com's team of crack journalists.
1. Cloud 9 by Zimtower
Still one of the most beautiful movies I've seen this year, Cloud 9 by ZImtower is a breath-taking display of skill and acumen. I'm still amazed, nearly a year later, at the amazing graphics and fantastic pairing of video and audio. Cloud 9 establishes without any doubt why Zimtower can be hailed as one of machinima's true masters.
2. Ulduar - Defiance
Atraira's trilogy of footage from the raid instance Ulduar went through a couple name changes this year. It started off as Ulduar: Defiance, and eventually seemed to morph into Ulduar: The Movie. Outside a bit of name confusion, however, no machinima cements the power and imagination of Ulduar's story like Artraira's series. I regularly encourage anyone interested in the lore of Ulduar to check out this video, especially if you didn't get to do the raid yourself. It's an astounding piece of work, and does a great job chronicling that epic instance.
3. Cruel, Cruel Moon
No discussion of the year's machinima could be complete without Cruel, Cruel Moon. First, obviously, Spiff's ongoing dedication to bringing the music and comedy of Jonathan Coulton has produced several fantasic movies. Secondly, with Cataclysm lurking around the edges of the forest, now's a great time to be producing material about Worgen.