Movie Review: Astro Boy

Armando Montano

For fans of Anime and Manga, the story that started it all has been revived once again and is now in theaters as a computer-animated take of Osmamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy. Astro Boy follows the creation of an android boy made in the image of Dr. Tenma’s deceased son as he comes to discover his own unique place in a world of stark differences.

Based in the scientifically-advanced hovering metropolis, Metro City, Astro Boy shows the origins of the boy android when a lethal mishap during a military arms demonstration of two intergalactic power resources leaves Dr. Tenma, head of the Ministry of Science and Metro City’s largest scientific contributor, childless and guilt-ridden. Bound to correct a thoughtless error, Tenma and fellow scientist, Dr. Elefun, begin to use Metro City’s greatest resources and unique space power source to create a replica of Tenma’s son, Toby. While the energy of the space power source gives the android the necessary push to complete Tenma’s greatest work, Android Toby turns out to be less than what Tenma expected. Although an exact copy of Toby, this android is unaware of its new strengths and powers, and begins interacting with the world much differently than anticipated. Tenma, suffering silently for his loss, forces Android Toby to leave and find his own place in the world, but not before sparking the interest of military-driven incumbent president Stone. Desperately seeking a method of being re-elected in the upcoming election, Stone seeks to use the power source from Android Toby to power his own ultimate war machine, The Peacekeeper, to declare war on the surface dwellers far below Metro City.

Astro Boy ultimately follows the story of a boy unique to both the world he knows and the world he discovers, as he seeks to find a place among them both. Astro Boy meets friends, allies and enemies alike, while coming to terms with his own identity and discovering what family can actually mean.

As a revamp of several incarnations of an international cartoon series, Astro Boy does well in delivering a story that is not overtly cute or cliché, nor realistic. The film surprises viewers at times with its take on several serious overtones throughout the film, particularly among the themes of segregation and discrimination, environmental impact and diverse family structure. While not admonishing or endorsing a standpoint in either case, Astro Boy makes use of these issues to maintain a new generation hero who can straddle and bridge the two sides and maintain a balance. Directed mostly for younger audiences, Astro Boy delivers an entertaining time for older viewers. The movie utilizes the series’ previous tried-and-true storyline with a robot boy defending humans from robots, robots from humans, earthlings from Martians, good people from bad; Astro Boy differs in the fact that he is not a conqueror or champion, but rather a facilitator and aid. His message is a call to the mutual advancement of all, rather than the defeat of one over the either.

Astro Boy is 94 minutes long and rated PG for some action and peril, and brief mild language. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet