Animatrix: Kid's Story

Written by: The Wachowskis
Directed by: Shinichiro Watanabe
Animation & Production Design: Studio 4C, Tokyo

Plot Summary

The Kid (named "Michael Karl Popper" in the Matrix) receives an invitation from Neo to escape the Matrix. That day at school, agents track him down and chase him around the school as he rides his skateboard through hallways. He is finally driven to the top of the school building, and cornered by the agents, he says, "Neo, I believe" and jumps off the building. When he hits the ground, he dies inside of the Matrix, but apparently wakes up in the real world, achieving the same effect as having taken a red pill. We later hear Trinity's voice as she's looking over the Kid, commenting that this is the first documented case of self-substantiation.

In M3, the Kid annoys Neo because of his extreme gratitude, believing Neo saved him, while Neo keeps telling the Kid that he saved himself. The Kid ends up saving Niobe, Morpheus and others by using Captain Mifune's APU to open the gate as the Hammer flies into the dock.

"The Kid" and "A Detective Story" are the only Animatrix stories that involve characters actually seen in the Matrix movies.


Waking up in the real world without taking a red pill is called self-substantiation. Although the kid is the first documented case of it, we see that waking up from the Matrix on one's own does occur from watching the Animatrix story World Record, in which Dan wakes himself up from the reality of the Matrix.

There is an important difference between Dan in "World Record" and the Kid in "Kid's Story", however. The Kid made a conscious decision that he wanted to escape the Matrix, while Dan didn't. The Kid woke up on purpose, while Dan woke up on accident. That is why the machines do not let Dan escape the Matrix, while they do allow the Kid to escape. Self-substantiation on purpose is probably extremely rare.

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