March 21, 2010
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Director: David Bowers
Writers: Timothy Harris
Producers: Maryann Garger
Starring: Freddie Highmore/Nicholas Cage/Eugene Levy/Matt Lucas/Kristen Bell
Country: US/Japan/Hong Kong
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 94 minutes
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 fulfil 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. When I was a child, I used to love watching the Astro Boy cartoons and when I heard they were making it into a movie, my heart sank a little bit because sometimes TV adaptations never made good movies. Just take a look at Dukes of Hazzard, Bewitched and The Magic Roundabout, they make a fantastic example as to how TV to Movie adaptations can never work but Astro Boy was a pleasant surprise.
The story is pretty basic but fairly decent and it would keep the attention to its target audience. It doesn’t lack in the action department and the humour is pretty decent for a kids’ movie. The animation is gloriously bright and colourful and the voices to the characters were done well but you can’t help but feel that Nicholas Cage as Doctor Tenma could have done a better job. The characters are fun but the evil villain felt more like a spoilt brat more than a villain. Also, another thing that didn’t really help the movie was how it ended. It was absolutely terrible and felt very rushed but I suspect the kids wouldn’t notice.
I liked it, it entertained me and it reminded me of how cartoons used to be and how they have changed so much today. It brought back a sense of nostalgia as I’m sure it would bring back some childhood memories of other adults too. It’s very entertaining for kids and adults alike. Astro Boy is not another TV-to-movie reject.