Astro Boy: Lots of Flash, But No Soul

Remake of vintage Japanese series fails to impress
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2009 9:44 AM CDT

(Newser) Astro Boy, David Bowers’ reboot of Osamu Tezuka’s classic Japanese manga and animé series, is an action-packed movie that tries to appeal to both kids and adults. Critics, however, were more impressed with the machine guns in the main character’s butt than with the film as a whole:

  • “The movie contains less of its interesting story and more action and battle scenes than I would have preferred,” writes Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. “Still, Astro Boy is better than most of its recent competitors, such as Monsters vs. Aliens and Kung Fu Panda.”

  • Astro Boy is “a totally serviceable reboot for young people who are just discovering the joys of manga, but I can't help but miss the raw animation and even rawer emotional aesthetics of Tezuka's original,” writes Marc Savlov for the Austin Chronicle.
  • “The problem with Astro Boy is that like its supersonic, jets-in-his-feet hero, the movie itself feels totally robotic,” writes Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer. And “unlike the protagonists of almost any and all of the Pixar titles, Astro Boy's namesake lacks even an iota of soul.”