The Animatrix has both prequel stories, as well as concurrent stories to the Matrix. One of the stories even becomes explicitly canon when the protagonist of it becomes a minor but important character in Revolutions.
The story itself takes place between The Matrix and Reloaded.
There is no spoilers for Reloaded or Revolutions in any of the 9 short films.
If you watch the film carefully, you see that the can came from the "glitched" area and bounced out of quarantine as the Agents were resetting it. The can is the one object that survived their purge. When she cut her self, maybe she realized the truth, or had some form or power or aspect of the glitched area transferred to her.
Or maybe it was a ...
I don't think Smith is a mouth piece. He's a program in the Matrix and has a specific purpose like every other program. His job is gate-keeping. Like all agents Smith ensures humans hacking into the Matrix are located and terminated. He's specifically tracking Morpheus to get to Zions location. Now this is his purpose as a program.
But unlike the others he ...
What is the reason for Alexa's reaction?
There are a few reasons, including realisation her friends are dead, understanding their "experiment" with the runner has now worked and possibly terror given the attack she has just suffered at the hands of the machines.
Background to Matriculated:
In Matriculated, a group of human resistance ...
The Animatrix serves as a canon source of information about the Matrix World. It contains history of the Matrix - the rise of machines, the war, and why the Matrix came to be created, and humanity enslaved. The others detail the world of humans - both in Matrix and outside. Some show how some humans reject the matrix at a subconscious level - and how the ...
The Animatrix provides a deeper background in the world of the Matrix. It shows how other people experience the Matrix.
I don't think there are any (major) spoilers. There are definitely references though.
The Animatrix will definitely improve your understanding of how everything is tied together.
There definitely are alternate versions. Right now, I'm watching Australian YouTubers 'Nics&Nacs' react to The Matrix and I'm watching a bathroom fight scene where Morpheus knocks Smith's sunglasses off with a headbutt, provoking Smith to return several hard headbutts. This is an extended scene. I've watched the theatrical version in Europe on VHS and on ...
Ref - Matrix Explanation
Let’s take a step back into what really happened in the world in the
early 21st century. This information is from the series called The
Animatrix which takes a deep dive into what really happened. Do watch
The Second Renaissance Part 1 & 2. These short animated films were
released much after The Matrix. A synopsis from ...