Monday, March 3, 2014

Real Live Boy

As mentioned in the Dragonball: Evolution post, we are kind of manga fans. As a result, Astro Boy (2009) was kind of up our alley. Fortunately, we didn't get our hopes up.

Astro Boy (named Tetsuwan Atom in Japanese) was possibly the greatest creation of Osamu Tezuka, possibly the greatest manga artist. It is the adventures of a robot built by grieving Dr. Tenma to replace his dead son. The robot has cool powers and is almost a real boy, but his creator rejects him, because Astro can't be his son.

That is roughly the story in this computer animated 3-D modeled version. Astro Boy is voiced by Freddie Highmore, Dr. Tenma by Nicholas Cage (who keeps it pretty light). The art design in nicely retro, with a lot of 2-D animation thrown in. There is some cute robot liberation politics thrown in, since the moral of the story is clearly anti-discrimination.

But overall, it really didn't thrill us. The character design was weird, not very close to the beloved originals (except Dr. Elefun, who was pretty spot on). The story seemed to drag, and I didn't get a real sense of authenticity from it.

Oh well, they can't all be Iron Giant.

1 comment:

mr. schprock said...

Oh yes, the Iron Giant! "I am not a gun!" Great movie.