Astro Boy (2009)

Astroboy (2009)ASTRO BOY – the brainchild of respected artist and animator Osamu Tezuka – first appeared in Japanese manga (comic books) way back in 1951. Later, he found his way onto the television screens of at least forty different countries, in both black & white and color incarnations. It was these cartoons that helped lead the way for what would become world famous as “anime.”
Now, in 2009, the franchise has finally been brought to the big screen. And woe to the uncreative, unclever version that’s finally surfaced. It wasn’t ASTRO BOY’S childish (or even child-like, if you prefer), simple-minded, one-dimensional views on politics, social structures, and religion that betrayed the filmmakers’ insipid mentality as much as it was simply the bad, formulaic script and its painfully clichéd characters. I wanted my damn money back and, more importantly, my precious, limited time!
Look, I’ve always been a huge animation fan, but unless you’re about five years old avoid this mess as if it were H1N1. Watch anything done by Japan’s famed Hayao Miyazaki instead.
The infamous fictional French archaeologist Dr. Rene Belloq once said of Marion Ravenwood in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, “If she fails to please me, I shall waste no more time with her.” Brother, are his words ringing in my head now! So with that practical thought in mind, I’m done here.
ASTRO BOY (Imagi Animation Studios, Tezuka Production Company, Ltd., and Summit Entertainment, 2009; 94 min.) Directed by David Bowers. Screenplay by Timothy Harris. Based on Osamu Tezuka’s comic book series. Produced by Pilar Flynn, Maryann Garger, and Mark Tarbox. Executive produced by Francis Koa, Cecil Kramer, Ken Tsumura, Paul Wang, and Yoshihiro Shimizu. Cinematography by Pepe Valencia. Art Direction by Jake Rowell. Animation supervision by Jakob Hjort Jensen. Visual effects supervised by Yan Chen. Edited By Robert Anich Cole. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell, Freddie Highmore, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland, Eugene Levy, Nathan Lane, Madeline Carroll, Sterling Beaumon, Moises Arias, Ryan Stiles, Matt Lucas, Victor Bonavida, Tony Matthews, and Samuel L. Jackson.

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