For those of you who don’t know, Astro Boy is a Japanese manga series and television program that was first broadcast in Japan from 1963 to 1966. Astro Boy is the first Japanese television series that embodied the aesthetic that later became familiarized as anime. It originated as a manga (comics and print cartoons that cover a broad range of subjects, including action-adventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror, and sexuality, amongst other things) in 1952 by Osamu Tezuka, who is often reputed as the “god of manga”. After enjoying success abroad, Astro Boy was remade in the 1980s as Shin Tetsuwan Atomu, known as Astroboy in the United States and other Western countries, and again in 2003. He was even named Japan’s envoy for overseas safety. The character is immensely popular, so it was only a matter of time before the property was brought to the big screen. We’ve known for a while now that Astro Boy was getting the big screen treatment. At first, I really didn’t care much about it. Now that it is so close to release, I am starting to get excited about it. This trailer got me officially psyched about Astro Boy!
The film is a computer animated 3D adventure that will feature voice-work by Nicolas Cage, Scarlett Johansson, Kristen Bell, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland, Eugene Levy, Nathan Lane, Matt Lucas, and Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy! Here is a brief synopsis of the film’s plot:
Set in futuristic Metro City, “Astro Boy” is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist. Powered by positive “blue” energy, “Astro Boy” is endowed with super strength, x-ray vision, unbelievable speed and the ability to fly. Embarking on a journey in search of acceptance, Astro Boy learns the joys and emotions of being human, and gains the strength to embrace his destiny. Ultimately learning his friends and family are in danger, “Astro Boy” marshals his awesome super powers and returns to Metro City in a valiant effort to save everything he cares about and to understand what it takes to be a hero.
I’m not sure if this type of film will go over well with American audiences or not. I know that should this turn into a big franchise, it still wouldn’t be accepted the way it is overseas. But I’d like to see it succeed. Astro Boy was always a fun little escape for me. The futuristic world it is set in was amazing to me. Hopefully the movie can recreate some of the magic that the English version of the animated series had. I look forward to bringing my kids to the theaters for this one!
“There you go, Astro Boy! On your mission today! Here’s the countdown and the blastoff! Everything is go, Astro Boy!”
Astro Boy will blast onto theater screens everywhere on October 23rd of this year.