Astro Boy (movie review)

Watch the Astro Boy trailer on Youtube

Not the same Astro Boy of previous incarnations. Not at all challenging or interesting.

I was a fan of the 80’s Astro Boy series, which I’ve begun watching again as a adult. I haven’t ever read the original manga though which I’m sad about. I am a big fan of the robot boy with the rocket legs and the machine-gun butt though so I was stoked to get to see this new CG animated movie version.

I was a little disappointed. It’s a good movie, but it feels like it lost it’s edginess. The original cartoon was creepy at times - a bit dark and disturbing. Maybe things don’t creep me out like they did when I was younger but this felt sugary-sweet and a little to happy. The music was cheesy kid-move fare, and the plot was wrapped up so happily I thought I was going to puke.
Yes it’s a kids movie. Yes it wasn’t pitched at me. But the original cartoon had genuine moments of despair and heartbreak for the characters. Why the makers of this thought that kids couldn’t handle some of those concepts now is beyond me.
The whole thing was a bit too Dreamworks-esque. It borrowed ideas and elements from so many other animated movies (and relied way too much on the so-scared-I-peed-myself gag) it ended up uninspired and dull, instead of exciting and fresh like Astro Boy was when I was a kid.
It’s a standard kids movie: harmless and fun. But it’s not the same Astro Boy of previous incarnations, and it’s not at all challenging or interesting.

This rates 2.0 stars ★★☆☆☆

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