"Astro Boy" became a cartoon series in 1963. It has a long and distinguished reputation spanning the globe. It has been vamped and revamped in Asia and in America. The latest iteration prior to the production of the film Astro Boy, arrived in 2004 in Japan. The storied history of Astro Boy himself is well-portrayed in the film. The characters live in Metro City, a futuristic city above the clouds and well above the surface of the Earth. On the surface are discarded robot parts and scavengers and runaways without any other place to go. Dr. Tenma (Nicolas Cage) of the Ministry of Science, a department under the influence of President/General Stone (Donald Sutherland) is the father of our young hero Astro Boy. His son followed in his footsteps and easily demonstrated his academic brilliance. Unfortunately, a tragic accident occurred while testing the new prototypes for renewable energy, blue and red matter, both polar opposites, and both representing positive and negative forces. The young man is caught behind the glass shield and is killed in front of Dr. Tenma’s very eyes. In a fit of haste and a moment of nostalgic weakness, Dr. Tenma steals the blue energy source and harnesses the genetic remnants of his son in order to create the most sophisticated robot every invented.
The robot becomes known as Astro Boy. Saddeningly, Dr. Tenma soon realizes the robot boy will never be identical to his son and will never grow up to become a man. He discards the robot and Astro Boy is forced down to the surface, well below Metro City, to look for a new life and a new beginning. Astro Boy has magical powers and still believes he is Dr. Tenma’s son. He never gives up hope or the ambition of regaining his father/creator’s trust and admiration. On the surface he helps robots develop courage and brings one giant robot back to life by sharing his energy, a boon that would be rewarded when it counted the most. His courage and willingness to save the entire city that turned its back on him has a valuable meaning.
This is a children’s film throughout, but one that teaches everyone an important lesson about life. Fathers need to be careful about hurting their children’s feelings. There is a fine line between temporary disappointment and a permanent attitude of negativity. This can harm a child’s feelings and cause serious issues of loss and abandonment. Children meanwhile need to learn that being heroic and strong is never easy, but it is the true course to adulthood. Astro Boy’s incredible powers (flying, twirling, x-ray vision, withstanding powerful onslaughts, and caring) make this movie a special film with a tragic beginning followed by a feel good ending that will delight all audiences.
Copyright © 2010 Screen Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Certain product data © 2010-present Screen Media, Inc. For personal use only. All rights reserved.