Astro Boy

Astro Boy

(2009)

From the company that beautifully animated TMNT comes a tale of a young robot in search of acceptance. An anime icon for decades, this is Astro Boy's cinematic debut. ... More

Dr Tenma (voiced by Nicolas Cage), a brilliant scientist, invents Astro Boy (voiced by Freddie Highmore) after the death of his son. Still grieving, he is disappointed when he realises the new android cannot replace his human boy. Astro, armed with an array of incredible powers, is sent out into a world of gladiator robots. The young boy embarks on a quest for redemption and friendship. He learns to use his strength to save others and later returns to the city he was created in to help defend it from destruction.Hide

Flicks Review

Unlike the titular hero, this film is severely lacking in rocket power. A tired, paint-by-numbers storyline fails to fire the imagination and might entertain kids but will likely leave babysitters bored.

A sci-fi reworking of Pinocchio with none of the charm, Astro Boy works ever so hard to entertain. Unfortunately, anything fantastical is brought back down to earth by clunky dialogue and abysmal efforts at humour.

An impressive vocal cast fulfils its task and the animation style is clean and simple. Brightly coloured and with round edges like babies’ toys, Astro Boy is Japanese-y enough to nod to its source material without being too stylised for the masses.

What’s missing is a bit of pizazz, a spark to ignite some originality. Astro Boy is a rather bland hero and one waits patiently for the film to break free from its earnest shackles and soar, its engine flying on the fumes of inspiration. Alas, the film’s ending promises a sequel but it looks like they’ve already run out of ideas.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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Well, I loved this movie, and I didn't expect to. The trailers are rather deceptive, in that they don't begin to convey how touching this movie is! I almost cried at some parts. Astro really grabs your heart, and the other characters are unforgettable, especially Cora and the comic villain Hamegg. This movie looks beautiful too, and I agree that the voice actors were wonderful. This flick gets 5 stars from me!


With many years worth of source material to draw upon, it's astounding that this introductory tale is so painfully bland. The film manages to introduce Astro and his supporting cast, and establishes the setting, (which is strikingly similar to that of 2008 hit, Wall-E) all quite well... but that's about it.

The title character is shown to have a heart of gold at the start, and still has it when the credits roll, with no substantial moral crisis in between. The most evolved of the... More characters turned out to be Astro's father/creator, who dealt with a number of his personal demons by films end. As for the rest of the cast, they are exactly what they appear at face value, and nothing more.

As for the story, it is a straight forward, cookie-cutter, superhero-introductory story. It says "Here's our hero; here's our villain; hero defeats villain; roll credits". The only point in the film where you may wonder how that could happen, is when Astro's father removes his 'blue core', however you won't be left wondering for long, as the character has a change of heart and replaces it, reviving his son.

It's pretty enough to look at, though what CG film isn't these days? The characters you are meant to like are all likable, and conversely the bad guys are easy to despise. The humour aimed at the kids appeared to land, however those aimed a little higher were hit-and-miss at best.

It was probably a good enough first film to secure a sequel, which appears to be all they were aiming for with Astro Boy. I'm sure number two will draw upon the wealth of material that already exists for this franchise, and it will be filled with the kind of innovation we all expected to see this time around.Hide


This movie is wonderful! I had no idea what to expect, although I have read a little of the classic Astro Boy manga. But this movie surpassed all of my expectation and silenced my doubts. It's got incredible, Pixar-level animation, the voice acting is spot-on, the story is engrossing and Astro himself is a lovable character you cry for and cheer for. I haven't had such a good time at a movie for a long time. Highly recommended for ALL ages!


The Press Reviews

  • Appropriately for a film about robots, efficiency is the primary virtue of Astro Boy, a well-oiled CG-animated superhero pic that makes up in competence and vitality what it lacks in originality. Full Review

  • Enjoyable, well made animated adventure with likeable characters, a strong script and some decent set-pieces as well as a nice line in satire and some quietly subversive gags. Full Review

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