Astro Boy (2009)

PG   |    |  Animation, Action, Comedy


Astro Boy (2009) Poster

When an android replica of a boy is rejected by his aggrieved creator, he goes off to find his own identity in an adventure that would make him the greatest hero of his time.

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6.3/10
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  • Astro Boy (2009)
  • Eugene Levy at an event for Astro Boy (2009)
  • Freddie Highmore at an event for Astro Boy (2009)
  • Freddie Highmore at an event for Astro Boy (2009)
  • Astro Boy (2009)
  • Eugene Levy at an event for Astro Boy (2009)

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Director:

David Bowers

Writers:

Osamu Tezuka (manga), David Bowers (story), Timothy Harris, David Bowers

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10 October 2009 | it_lives
6
| disappointing reimagining
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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