In Metro City Dr. Tenma [Nicholas Cage] is the head of the Ministry of Science and the city’s expert on robotics. After an accident his son, Tobey, passes away. This sends Dr. Tenma into a crazed state and he decides to deal with his grief he will create his greatest robot and make him a complete replica of his son in looks and in mind. He therefore ends up creating Astro Boy [Freddie Highmore].
Here is the American animated feature film based on Osuma Tezuka’s original manga series that was first published in 1952. The film takes us on a story of a world where robots are treated like second rate citizens until someone makes a robot that looks so real no human can tell the difference, but the robots can. So Astro is able to live as a human but has to walk a thin line as he tries not to make it obvious that he isn’t and also try to make sure that the other robots don’t oust him for what he really is. The story really plays itself as a commentary on anyone that is treated as a second class citizen (most common example would be race-relations). Everyone is okay with robots as long as they are helpful and do as they’re told. It is even more obvious when the film ends and everyone sees that this robot can be good and save them from this huge danger and then they definitely say to themselves, “if this robot can be so human then what about these dirty people from the surface”.
As a children’s movie it totally works. There are some great visuals that your younger company at the theatre will fall in love with. The action sequences are numerous and fun to watch. Characters are definitely written with comedy in mind while at the same time keeping enough heart-felt moments to keep the thematic points of the story working. However, even with all of this I can’t call this movie any more than the average kid’s movie that your child will end up enjoying a ton more than you.
One of the best parts of this movie is some of the voice acting. I loved certain characters like Cora [Kristen Bell], Dr. Elefun [Bill Nighy], Ham Egg [Nathan Lane] and especially our villain President Stone [Donald Sutherland]. The comedy that the President gives us is just insane. I can’t somehow forget the hilarious moment when we last see President Stone when he pops up and starts pretending like he’s a five year old doing his best impression of Buzz Lightyear (straight out of the box, not after Woody explained it all to him) and it keeps a smile on my face.
Overall as a children’s movie it is a complete success, but as a general audience film it doesn’t seem to be anymore than an average movie. So take your children and they’ll have a great time and you may find a few things to laugh at when you do not have to stop your child from making a ton of noise and all that good stuff.
IMDB says 6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes says 48%
I say 6.0/10