Astro Boy, the movie, is the latest incarnation of the Astro Boy franchise based on Osamu Tezuka’s legendary manga series. This CGI film is directed and written by David Bowers, whose many credits include: Flushed Away, and co-written with Timothy Harris. Astro Boy has been reborn.
The greatest surprise is that for an action movie, this film is hilarious. Comic tid-bits include that: Astro’s hair style is the result of too much hair gel and the scene when he realizes he has machine guns in his butt. What else to expect from David Bowers and Timothy Harris who are well known for their comedic writing skills.
Astro Boy, is the story of Dr. Tenma who loses his son, Toby, when a military experiment goes awry. Driven by grief, he creates a robot in Toby’s likeness, containing his original memories. Along with some advanced weaponry, so that he “will never lose him again”. When Dr. Tenma finally accepts that his son is really gone and can never be replaced, he casts the robot away. Astro-Boy must now find his purpose in the world.
Die hard fans will appreciate the thought and effort behind this film. It is an homage to the original series, while showing it has a few new tricks up its sleeves. The CGI is spectacular; especially the scene where Astro Boy tunnels his way through solid rock, which pays tribute to the original Astro Boy opening from the animated series. In addition, American and even British influences are present through out the film. The most obvious being Astro Boy’s “human” name change from Tobio to Toby. References to Issac Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics, from I, Robot are also incorporated into the movie. The directors even added his own original creations, such as: the Robot Revolutionary Front, a comedic team of robots who are fighting against the oppression of robot kind. Their antics are similar to the comedy styling of British animated films such as: Wallace and Gromit; Flushed Away; and the television series, Rex the Runt. Marxism with a side of British comedy, anyone?? The film is nicely balanced; it‘s humorous, yet it doesn’t lose sight of the original manga series.
Voiced by the talented cast of: Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell , Samuel L. Jackson, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland, Charlize Theron and Nicolas Cage as Dr. Tenma.
Astro Boy will truly capture the hearts of young children, even those young at heart. It is a wonderful film for the entire family.
If you thought you knew Astro Boy, then you need to see this movie!
ASTRO BOY is rated PG
[Special pre-release screening of Astro Boy was held by The New York International Children’s Film Festival on Sept 17&18]
Friday October 23
Directed by David Bowers; written by Timothy Hyde Harris andMr. Bowers, based on a story by Mr. Bowers and the manga created byOsamu Tezuka; director of photography, Pepe Valencia; edited by RobertAnich; music by John Ottman; production designer, Samuel Michlap;produced by Maryann Garger; released by Summit Entertainment. Runningtime: 1 hour 34 minutes.
WITH THE VOICES OF: Freddie Highmore (Astro/Toby), Kristen Bell (Cora), Samuel L. Jackson (Zog), Nathan Lane (Hamegg), Eugene Levy (Orrin), Matt Lucas (Sparx), Bill Nighy (Dr. Elefun/Robotsky), Donald Sutherland (President Stone), Charlize Theron (“Our Friends” Narrator) and Nicolas Cage (Dr. Tenma).