Ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather's house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature.
Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man's expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father who had rejected him.Written by
In 1999, Sony Pictures Entertainment purchased the film rights to Astro Boy from Osamu Tezuka Productions, intending to produce a combination live-action/animatronics/CGI feature film alongside Jim Henson Productions originally slated for a Christmas 2000 release, with Eric Leighton (Dinosaur) attached to direct. This came to no result, and in June 2004, Leighton was replaced with accomplished animator Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory (1996), Samurai Jack (2001)) with a scheduled 2007 release. However, some time after this announcement was made, Tartakovsky left the film to produce The Dark Crystal (1982)'s sequel, The Power of the Dark Crystal, also for Jim Henson Productions. See more »
Despite being subjected to incredible stresses of "tractor beams" and multiple direct missile and cannon hits, Astro's ordinary clothes aren't damaged. At worst, they get a little bit dirty. See more »
After the end credits, a card stating "When in Hong Kong, visit Imagi Studios" The art is the same classic style as the opening, with a tram touring a back lot. This is much like what Universal studios did at the end of their films. See more »
I loved the 1982 TV series, and I should point out that I was a teenager (15) when that came to Australia. It was one of the seminal influences that helped my own development as an animator. I've never seen the original 60s B&W show, but I understand it is more or less the same story line.
My problem with the new movie is that it not only takes great liberties with the story. No longer taking place in Tokyo, but in a bizarre floating island/city called 'Metro-city' (Inspector Gadget?) that cruises above the trash strewn surface-world. The story has been 'kiddified' it to an extent that I don't think Tezuka would have liked.
While Astroboy has always appealed to young kids it has also maintained a maturity that ensures longevity and resonance, this version is more difficult for an adult or older teen audience to connect with, which is disappointing to say the least. If I had encountered this at the age of 15 I would not have had too much regard for it other than a throwaway bit of animation to tide me over till the next Pixar release.
Which is how I feel about it now I guess.
Sure there are some cool moments, but not enough of them. And designwise, there's one robot in particular who seems to be far more influenced by the work of Miyazaki than Tezuka. As a background throwaway reference that's fine, but this character is integral to the movie.
The modelling and animation is competent, not in the same class as Pixar, but not bad. It's a pity the work seems to have been outsourced to China, I didn't see one Japanese name in the animation credits, which seems like a pity.
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