DVD review: Astro Boy (2009)
Anime’s original hero gets a computer-generated update in the 2009 film “Astro Boy,” now out on DVD. Astro Boy was created by Japan’s Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of manga, or Japanese comics. The 1960s “Astro Boy” animated series is often considered the first anime.
Astro Boy is a superpowered robot created by Dr. Tenma (voiced by Nicolas Cage) in the image of his late son, Toby. Using Toby’s DNA as a template, Tenma builds Astro Boy, powered by the blue core energy discovered by Tenma’s colleague, Dr. Elefun (Bill Nighy). After being implanted with Toby’s memories, Astro Boy initially believes himself to be Toby. Tenma thinks Astro will help him get over his son’s death, but it does the opposite, reminding him of his own responsibility for the death of his son.
So the jet-propelled Astro (Freddie Highmore) leaves the floating Metro City to find his own destiny on the Earth below. Earth is a wasteland of junk and debris, where robot repairman Hamegg (Nathan Lane) houses a cast of runaways and orphans, including Cora (Kristen Bell).
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