Friday, October 30, 2009
"Astro Boy" (2009)
oddly enough, I don't have much emotional connection with Astro Boy, despite writing about him a bit these days. never saw the cartoon growing up at all.
so with this remake/version, I'm didn't have too many preconceptions. it's pretty good, and at 94 minutes (at least 5 minutes of closing and BORING credits) it's just about the right length of time.
it is another retelling of Astro's origin, but done in about the same time as the original cartoon did it. it's set in the further future than "the year 2000", which is also fine. the rest of the story revolves around Astro finding his purpose in life. it gets a little cutesy with the introduction of the orphans, but right when you think it's gonna be sidetracked it brings it altogether for a pretty satisfying finish.
the CG characters look pretty good, but as none of Tezuka's original work was designed to be 3-D, they still look a little weird, especially Dr. Elefun. it's OK, but I kept thinking how much better a real cartoon would have looked. it was nice to see a few of Tezuka's characters there, including Hamegg. Mr. Moustache was in the credits, but I didn't remember seeing him in the movie at all.
so it's worth a look. it's apparently not making ANY money, but I think it will find a life on DVD, since it's pretty good. alas, they didn't use the original Astro Boy theme song, not even over those long extensive credits.
oh yeah, and Astro himself barely spent any time looking like his comic book counterpart- he was always in blue jeans and a shirt. weak.