So I’m finally getting around to Astro Boy (that is, the film that came out last year) and I’ve got to say it’s… a lot better than I thought it would be. Although I’m not super familiar with the source material, I am familiar with something that knocked off the original Astro Boy – and that’s Mega Man. You could seriously change the characters around just a little bit and bam, you’ve got Mega Man.
I do like how the animation is very good at evoking that early anime style, but with a distinctive modern twist. I guess shows like Astro Boy and Gigantor probably seem like anachronisms today, what with their terrible animation, thin plots and strange translations. The film does have a few common traits in that department too. The secondary characters need a little bit of work to be something other than cardboard cutouts. There’s some backstory that we never really got for some of these characters that could have been added in with very little affect on the pacing of the film.
There’s a lot to like about it… and there’s some stuff not to like about it. It’s a shame that these films tend to fall into the kid movie traps. It starts out fairly seriously, and if you choose to think about what goes into some of the first quarter of the movie, you might think they actually have something to say. Unfortunately, you’ve probably seen that spiel before. Ultimately, it’s a kid’s movie, and it doesn’t try to really push beyond that in any more than superficial ways.
It’s still pretty cool, though. Zog is a badass, I guess that counts for something.