Saturday, November 24, 2012

Astro Boy (2009) Review:

Before Astro Boy was ever released in theatres, it used to be a television show that aired in Japan. And just like any other television show, sooner or later it turned into a movie. Thankfully, Astro Boy wasn't filmed in live-action. Who knows how that could've turned out. What we do know from past experiences, is that live-action cartoon adaptations have high failure probability. This is not always true, but for the majority, it is.

Astro Boy is his 3D rendering
Astro Boy is the story of an ordinary child who is turned into a cybernetic organism from his science-whiz father. Freddie Highmore plays the character of Astro Boy and his voice doesn't sound out of place so that's a plus. Dr. Tenma is Astro Boy's father and he is voiced by Nicolas Cage. It's an interesting choice actually because it's believable. But if listened to close enough, one can imagine Cage talking into the microphone. Same goes for the villain, President Stone, who is voiced by Donald Sutherland. In general, the cast is great but it's funny how practically none of them changed how they spoke.

Dr. Tenma & his big nosed assistant.....& President Stone
The animation in this film is also a treat to look at. Much of the objects are round and have lots of curves and swoops. Even some of the characters are funny looking. Dr. Tenma's assistant has a clown nose! What's also good looking are the colors and the architecture of the buildings and machines. Because this is a futuristic world, there are all sorts of sparkly new gadgets. Not to mention, Astro Boy's gadgets will add to the spectacle of the film.

As for the plot goes, it's a mix of ideas. The are two movies I can make a clear connection to. The first is I, Robot (2004), because whenever a robot was not needed, it would be banished from the land, where it would rust with all its other counterparts before it. The other movie that's similar to this is Demolition Man (1993). There are two places to live, paradise and poverty. Both films share these ideas. And this is the component that I found unoriginal. Also at the beginning of the film was depressing because Dr. Tenma didn't pay attention to his son and later on abandoned him (temporarily). This can make the audience wonder, "Is this really for children". But as the film approaches its finale, it brings back its jolly nature.

The plot is unoriginal and it may seem upsetting for the beginning of the film but in the end, it will please its fans. Making Astro Boy even more enjoyable is the voice cast and colorful visuals.

Points Earned --> 8:10

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