Astro Boy | Chicago Reader

Astro Boy

Rated PG 94 minutes 2009

Osamu Tezuka’s groundbreaking 60s anime series gets a stylish CGI update in this sci-fi animation (2009). A scientist (given voice by Nicolas Cage), distraught over the death of his son (Freddie Highmore), re-creates the boy as a robot powered by a blue core of "good" energy. Like the series, the film considers humanity's dependence on and fear of automation, though this new treatment also has an apocalyptic theme, as a craven politician foments war by harnessing the "bad" energy of a red core (a none-too-subtle allusion to American politics). The lighting, production design, and character modeling are excellent, and director David Bowers (Flushed Away) references Frankenstein, Wall-E, Transformers, and even Abraham and Isaac. But the TV series, primitive though it was, had a sweet innocence and joyfulness that made it more fun.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: David Bowers

Writer: Timothy Harris, Osamu Tezuka and David Bowers

Producer: Maryann Garger

Cast: Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland, Nicholas Cage, Bill Nighy, Matt Lucas, Samuel L. Jackson and Nathan Lane


Astro Boy

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