At first glance, 9 is something of a head-scratcher: CGI dolls with giant goggle eyes run around a rusty, battered post-apocalyptic landscape while fighting an unknown threat. It’s like a pint-sized version of Terminator Salvation, only super-earnest. But the wide-eyed leads express more than you would expect (from terror to conviction); and the stitching on the rag dolls bring to mind the stars of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. No wonder: Although 9 is based on an Oscar-nominated short by Shane Acker, Burton and Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov helped Acker shepherd it to the big screen. The effects — big explosions, cool fight scenes — indicate this is no paint-by-numbers kiddie project and has more to do with creepy Coraline than feel-good WALL-E. Is it for grown ups? Who cares?