Astro Boy - a Review of the Movie

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Astro Boy

When his own son is killed in an accident, the brilliant scientist Dr.Tenma (voiced by Nicholas Cage) in his grief, builds a robot boy in the image of his son Toby, using a strand of his DNA. Tenma infuses the robot with the benevolent blue core energy – a self-sustaining, clean energy source considerably more powerful than nuclear energy.

The robot looks like his son Toby, and believes he’s Toby, as he has all of Toby’s memories. The boy and the robot are both voiced by Freddie Highmore.  Astro Boy is endowed with Superman-like powers;  X-ray vision, incredible strength and speed, and the ability to fly.

He, however, has a personality of his own, one very different from Toby’s. Tenma realises that he hasn’t got his boy back after all, and rejects his creation.

A series of adventures finds Astro Boy in a scrap heap down on Earth. On a journey to seek acceptance, he finds friends, both human and robot, fights villains, and experiences the joys and heartache of being human.

The story is set in a Utopia called Metro City which floats over Earth, where humans are waited on hand and foot by robots that take care of their every need. Earth, meanwhile, has become a trash covered dump where dying robots are discarded.

The movie ends on the hope that Earth may yet be restored to its former glory as the blue energy in Astro Boy gives him the power to revive the planet..

Directed by David Bowers, the story is rich with allusions to well-loved tales including Oliver Twist and Pinocchio. The robot-serviced Metro City and the sad state of Earth below it are reminiscent of Wall E.

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