Fresh-faced and doe-eyed, it’s a surprise to discover that Astro Boy has actually been flexing his supersonic muscles since 1951. In this latest CGI-animated reincarnation, Astro Boy is given a 21st-century makeover, while still upholding solid, old-fashioned ideals. At the start of the movie, Toby, an angel-faced schoolboy with a cool quiff, is showing signs of the brilliance he’s inherited from his scientist father. But then a tragic accident and a skirmish over a powerful potion kills Toby.
His grieving father creates a robot boy in Toby’s exact likeness, but then finds it hard to bond and rejects him. Disillusioned, Astro Boy then flees his native Metro City, a futuristic land above the clouds, and comes down to Earth, where he discovers an alternative civilisation and a gang of ragamuffin lost children – think the Artful Dodger et al in Oliver – who reluctantly let him join them.
This is a loud and explosive movie, with lots of exciting – and noisy – special effects that will appeal to those who love their action heroes to display super-human qualities (we love Astro Boy’s amazement as he discovers “I’ve got machine guns in my butt!”), but there are also tear-jerking tender moments as the human story unfolds. Astro Boy is the perfect modern-day hero with amazing superpowers – and a heart of gold.
Cert PG. £17.99 (DVD), £22.99 (BLU-RAY). For further details, visit www.astroboy-themovie.com
Discuss this story