Friday, July 31, 2009

Even more Comic Con Interviews.

I've discovered 3 more Astro Boy movie interviews from Comic Con, courtesy of Movie Jungle. These are text only, so there's no video this time, but they each go into a fair bit of detail. Here are some samples of each.

Kristen Bell speaks on how the film starts and the role of robots.

"The introduction is about robots and how they work for us and we’re happy with them but don’t get too close with them because they work for us and the idea of sort of second class citizens and not being as nice as you always should and that things are disposable. Then Astro comes into the picture and he has every human emotion but he’s a robot and everything turns chaotic because people think ‘what do we do with that?’ and I think the movie’s just about using your heart and your gut treat people how they deserve to be treated."
Read the whole interview here.

Freddie Highmore on recording alone in the studio.
"You know, getting over being self-conscious in a studio when you’re acting, when you’re lending your voice to something. If you’re really upset you’ve gotta be crying in the studio. I think people can really tell if you try fake your voice. So definitely you give it your all in the studio. It can be quite challenging when other people aren’t in the room. I think that David did an amazing job in matching us all up and letting us know where other people are going in a certain scene so that in the end people said Kristen and I had great chemistry, even though we’d never met."
Read the whole interview here.

Director David Bowers on working with the writer, Timothy Harris.
"It was great. You know I came onto the movie. It had to be done really quickly. I wrote the outline fairly swiftly in about a week. It was a little bit of a difficult thing to do. Then we started looking around for writers and Tim was recommended by a good friend of mine, a writer I worked with before and when we met we just hit it off. Tim took the outline, worked on it, sent it back, I’d do some scenes and he’d do some scenes but it was very relaxed it was very chill. Tim’s an enormously talented man. Very smart, very funny. It was great."
Read the whole interview here.

Continue reading "Even more Comic Con Interviews."...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Comic Con Interviews

Thanks to MovieWeb, we have 2 more video interviews from the San Diego Comic Con. Thankfully, these ones actually have some substance to them!

Here's Freddie Highmore.

And here is Kristen Bell.

These are good interviews, but once again, the failure to pronounce the word "Manga" correctly makes my flesh crawl. Ugh! Stop saying "Maing-ga"! It's not that hard, people!

Continue reading "More Comic Con Interviews"...

Astro Sounds

A big announcement has just been made today regarding the audio of the upcoming cg animated Astro Boy movie. The award winning composer John Ottman, who's work can be heard in movies like Superman Returns, Fantastic Four, and X2: X-Men United, will be scoring the film! Also, Sound Designer Richard Anderson is on board, bring his Oscar-nominated experience from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Sounds good to me!

To the right is a photo of the orchestra performing the Astro Boy score, posted on director David Bowers' Twitter account.

Read the full press release by clicking the link below.

Imagi Studios Keys in Award-Winning Composer John Ottman and Sound Designer Richard Anderson for Upcoming Animated Feature 'ASTRO BOY'

LOS ANGELES, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagi Studios has signed composer John Ottman and sound designer Richard Anderson for the studio's upcoming animated feature film "Astro Boy," scheduled for domestic release via Summit Entertainment on October 23, 2009. The announcement was made today by "Astro Boy" producer Maryann Garger.

Ottman has received numerous awards throughout his career, including a BAFTA Award for "The Usual Suspects." Most recently he received a Saturn Award(R) for his work on "Superman Returns." Ottman's credits include a variety of motion picture and television projects, including "Valkyrie" and films in the "Superman Returns," "X-Men" and "Fantastic Four" comics-genre franchises.

Anderson's work has been nominated for two Oscars(R), including winning a Special Achievement Award for his work on "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Anderson has worked on numerous mega-blockbusters including "Shrek the Third," "The Lion King," "Star Trek" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Imagi Studios is currently in post-production on "Astro Boy", produced by Maryann Garger and directed by David Bowers ("Flushed Away"). Set in the future, the CG-animated feature film is about a young robot with incredible powers and is based on the iconic character which has enjoyed great acclaim and success around the world for over 50 years. "Astro Boy" features the voices of Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland and Nicolas Cage as 'Dr. Tenma'. Slated for theatrical release on October 23, 2009, Summit Entertainment will distribute "Astro Boy" worldwide except for Imagi's reserved territories of Japan, Hong Kong and China.


Imagi International Holdings Limited (Stock Code 585, Pink Sheets: IINHY) is a listed company on the main board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Imagi Studios' principal business is the development and production of CG-animated theatrical feature films. Imagi's first theatrical movie "TMNT" was released in March 2007, opening #1 in U.S. box office revenue, the first time in history that an Asian animated film achieved that honor. Imagi's CG production studios are located at its Chai Wan (Hong Kong) corporate headquarters with development and marketing operations based in Los Angeles, California, and an office in Tokyo. "Astro Boy" is Imagi's next motion picture for worldwide theatrical release in October 2009. For further information, please visit

Continue reading "Astro Sounds"...

Breakfast with Imagi

At the San Diego Comic Con, those cool cats at Toon Zone got a chance to sit down with Astro Boy movie director David Bowers, producer Maryann Garger, and production manager Tony Matthews for a special Imagi breakfast.

In the article, there is some discussion on the film's production, including the film's current status and some of the voice acting. It is revealed that David Bowers himself is in the film as the voice of a refrigerator. Osamu Tezuka's son Makoto has seen the Astro Boy movie and is very happy with it.

Also, Gatcha-fans will be happy to note that the Gatchaman movie is still moving forward for a first quarter 2011 release, and an announcement about this long-anticipated film will be made soon.

You can read "San Diego Comic-Con 2009: IMAGI Convention Breakfast" on Toon Zone.

Continue reading "Breakfast with Imagi"...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Astro Timeline

The Official Astro Boy Movie website was recently updated with an interactive timeline that allows users to scroll through the sequence of important events in the history of Astro Boy, starting with the birth of Osamu Tezuka and going all the way to this upcoming animated film. Check it out by visiting the site and clicking on "Timeline".

Source: WAMG

Continue reading "Astro Timeline"...

6 New Astro Movie Screens

New images of the upcoming CG animated Astro Boy movie from Imagi have hit the web! Here we get an excellent look at not only Astro, but also Dr. Tenma, Dr. Elefun, Stone, and the Peacekeeper.

Click the small images below for a closer look!

Source: SciFiCool

Continue reading "6 New Astro Movie Screens"...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Freddie at Comic Con on Video

Found some more video coverage from the San Diego Comic Con.

Here's a short interview with the voice of Astro, Freddie Highmore, talking about animation. It seems like there is more to this interview but I can't find it yet. This video comes courtesy of ReelzChannel.

Also here is a fan-recorded clip of Freddie and Kristen Bell being introduced at the Astro Boy panel. The girls go crazy for Freddie's voice. Of course, it cuts off right before they show the trailer because recording it was probably not allowed.

Continue reading "Freddie at Comic Con on Video"...

David Bowers Interview from Comic Con

The fallout from last week's San Diego Comic Con continues. Digital City managed to get an interview with Astro Boy movie director David Bowers. Here's a sample of what he had to say.

"I think it's another interpretation of the character, but I think it's pretty faithful to the first one – the original manga, which I read a lot of and drew a lot from for this story. It's a little more updated. I think if you look at it now it's retro cool and a little fun, but at the time it was cutting edge and hardcore science fiction. I've tried to make this film a little more contemporary feeling so it'll feel fresher for new audiences."
Check out "Comic Con: David Bowers Looks Forward to Astro Boy" on Digital City

Continue reading "David Bowers Interview from Comic Con"...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dororo wins the Eisner!

Many congratulations go out to Vertical, who's English language release of Osamu Tezuka's classic samurai adventure manga Dororo has been honored with the Eisner Award for "Best U.S. Edition of International Material". The Eisner Awards are the American comic book industry's most prestigious honor, named after the legendary Will Eisner, and are given every year at the San Diego Comic Con.

Source: Publisher's Weekly

Continue reading "Dororo wins the Eisner!"...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Slight Case of Fail

Don't want to be mean or pick on anyone, but come on now.

Yeah, something is just... not quite right about that title. Wonder how that mistake slipped by considering both the first line of the article and the accompanying image.

For those of you playing at home, a live action Astro Boy movie will most certainly not be opening nationwide any time soon.

Original article found here.

Continue reading "Slight Case of Fail"...

Video Coverage from Comic Con

I managed to track down these videos covering the Astro Boy movie related events from this year's San Deigo Comic Con. You can click on the links for accompanying articles.

Here's an interview from Wired with Kristen Bell speaking about the emotion of the film.

And here's a brief discussion with Kristen Bell and Freddie Highmore from Entertainment Weekly, though the guy doing the interview barely asks them anything about the Astro Boy movie at all. Really ace reporting there, chief.

And here's IGN talking with Kristen Bell.

I found some video clips recorded during the Astro Boy panel on Thursday, but they were mostly just Kristen Bell talking about other things, so I'm not linking them. In fact, most of the video reporting I've seen thus far has been more about Kristen Bell and less about the actual movie she's promoting. I know she's hot and all guys. I'm with you on that. But let's stick to the task at hand a little bit more, hmm?

Continue reading "Video Coverage from Comic Con"...

Friday, July 24, 2009

San Diego Comic Con Coverage

The Astro Boy panel at the San Diego Comic Con was early Thursday morning, opening up the first offical day of the show in a way befitting of Osamu Tezuka's legendary status, and the news is now out in full force! There were some big announcements and revelations that are making this movie seem quite intriguing!

  • There will be several "Easter Eggs" and familiar characters in the film. Osamu Tezuka himself will be a recurring character, and in the Japanese version will be voiced by Tezuka's son Makoto.
  • Astro will have his traditional appearance both when he is created (as we've seen in the teaser trailer) and in the fight at the end of the film.
  • More actors have been confirmed. Charlize Theron is narrating a movie-within-a-movie which will open up the film's futuristic setting, and in a huge surprise, Samuel L. Jackson is the voice of a robot named Zog.
  • There is a Tentacle Monster. 'Nuff said.
Here are some links I have found with coverage of the panel. Keep in mind that all of these sites were in the same place, so they all basically have the same information. Watch out for spoilers!
Entertainment News International
Anime News Network
And Super Hero Hype has several facets of Astro Boy coverage:
Summit Premieres Astro Boy Trailer - A full description of the (yet unfinished) trailer shown at the panel.

David Bowers on Astro Boy - Great interview with the director! I love Danger Mouse too!

Astro Boy Panel, Full Q & A - Word for word, what the guests had to say to the fans in attendance!
Stay with ABW for more info as it drops!

Continue reading "San Diego Comic Con Coverage"...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Astro Boy Movie Video Coverage in Japan

Want to see some footage of the upcoming Astro Boy animated movie by Imagi? Well, as long as you don't mind listening to some Japanese people talk over it, here you go! This video comes from a Japanese TV show, and I really don't know much of anything else about it. It seems like they got a look at some footage and are discussing it on air. You can watch too, but be warned that there may be spoilers!

This footage seems to be from the same batch that was shown to journalists and reported on earlier. It does look really good, and we get something of sense of the voice acting despite the distracting commentary. I think they are saying that Atomu is handsome. Nihongo wa chotto muzukashi desu yo.

This is our first good look at the film outside of the teaser trailers. Expect more soon!

Continue reading "Astro Boy Movie Video Coverage in Japan"...

Astro Boy: The Beginning on DVD

To coincide with the Astro Boy animated movie set for release this fall, The Right Stuf will be coming out with a special DVD containing the first 5 episodes of the original 1960's Astro Boy anime.

The episodes included are:

1. Birth of Astro Boy,
2. Colosso
3. Expedition to Mars
4. The Sphinx
5. Cross Island.
This DVD will be available on October 6th. Click the link below to read the entire press release.


Thursday, 16 July 2009
Right Stuf announcing the release of Astro Boy: The Beginning. - contains five original Astro Boy Episodes

GRIMES, IA, July 16, 2009 – Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and Nozomi Entertainment are pleased to announce the ASTRO BOY: THE BEGINNING DVD will be released on October 6, 2009.

This DVD single will feature the first five episodes of the original 1963 Astro Boy series, as it aired on television, with an English-language audio track.

One of the “50 Best Anime Ever”
“as entertaining now as when it first aired”
- Anime Insider

Based on Osamu Tezuka’s acclaimed manga (comic), Astro Boy was both the first modern, 25-minutes-per-episode anime series created specifically for television and the first anime series to air on TV in the United States, during the 1960s. The original boy-robot continues to be an icon to fans wordwide and also inspired the new CG-animated Astro Boy movie, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters on October 23, 2009.

Frederik L. Schodt – Order of the Rising Sun recipient and author of The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution – describes the series’ everlasting appeal among fans of all ages:

“It all started with Astro Boy. By animating his hugely popular “Mighty Atom” manga in 1963, Osamu Tezuka created the template for Japan's modern and gargantuan manga/anime industry. Today the series is still entertaining, charming, and fascinating for the sophistication of its ideas. But it also reveals how the anime boom began, and is a must-watch for all true anime fans.”

Visit for more information about Astro Boy and to view the trailer, download desktop wallpapers, and listen to an interview with Mr. Schodt about the significance of Dr. Tezuka’s works worldwide, the differences between the Astro Boy manga and its anime adaptations, and Tezuka’s relationship with his best-known creation.


The original boy-robot with 100,000 horsepower strength and courage! Endowed with super strength, rocket-powered flight, a selfless heart and a kind demeanor, Astro Boy fights a never-ending crusade against the forces of evil! Contains episodes 1-5 of the original Astro Boy series: 1. Birth of Astro Boy, 2. Colosso, 3. Expedition to Mars, 4. The Sphinx, and 5. Cross Island.

Pre-Book: 8/25/2009
Street Date: 10/06/2009
Runtime: Approximately 110 minutes, Mono, Black and White
Genre: Adventure / Sci Fi / Retro Television
Suggested Rating: All Ages

Format: DVD (English Audio)
Catalog #: RSDVD0999
ISBN: 1-57032-780-7
UPC: 7-42617-0999-2-2
SRP: $12.99

Discs/Set: 1
Case Qty: 30

DVD Features:
Scene access and English-language audio.

* Cover Art:
ASTRO BOY © Tezuka Production Co., Ltd./Mushi Production Co., Ltd.
* To view this image, cut and paste the URL into your Web browser.

** Product specifications and content may be subject to change.

Currently celebrating its 21st year in business, Right Stuf, Inc. was one of the first players in the U.S. Japanese Animation ("anime") industry, as both an anime producer/distributor and a retailer. Right Stuf works to promote knowledge of its own products, as well as the anime and manga industry, in general, through its online storefront at and a variety of media including podcasts and special publications.

Nozomi Entertainment, Right Stuf’s production division, is dedicated to the highest quality releases. True to the Japanese word that inspired its name, Nozomi’s focus is on “what fans want.” By focusing on a limited number of anime properties each year, the Nozomi production team ensures each release receives the care and attention to detail it deserves.

From anime classics like Astro Boy, Kimba and Gigantor to modern comedies, dramas and favorites such as The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, His and Her Circumstances, Gravitation, Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars, Ninja Nonsense, To Heart, The Third: The Girl With the Blue Eye, Emma: A Victorian Romance, Maria Watches Over Us, ARIA and Gakuen Alice, Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment produce quality programming for fans of all ages and interests. For more information, visit and

Continue reading "Astro Boy: The Beginning on DVD"...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tons of Astro Coverage!

The word on the Astro Boy movie from Imagi is hitting the web in a major way, and with the San Diego Comic Con this week, it's only going to get bigger!

Here are links to more coverage I've been able to find, most of which stems from the sneak peak given to journalists earlier. Read on, but be warned that some of these links may contain spoliers! - 'Astro Boy,' Rebuilt And Reborn For The Silver Screen - Had this to say about the animation.

In modern computer animation there seems to be two standards – there's Pixar, and there's everybody else. But watching three clips from the film that were mostly finished, Astro Boy promised to have a style all its own – one that feels decidedly digital but is also elegant; one sequence in particular evoked the bustling cityscapes of the Star Wars planet Coruscant. But notwithstanding Astro Boy's familiar, cylindrical profile, the other robots who inhabit his world are intriguingly weird, operating less according to a semblance of scientific plausibility than the whim of their creators.
IGN's Astro Boy Preview - Another pretty detailed description of the previewed footage. Not quoting anything because of spoilers.

Variety - Comic-Con appeal widens - A short mention of Astro with Imagi's Erin Corbett.
That includes building awareness around Imagi Animation's "Astro Boy," which Summit is distribbing Oct. 23.

Imagi hosted a small booth for "Astro Boy" on the show floor last year, but this year it will present action sequences from the toon during Summit's panel in Hall H, as well as feature the pic at a much bigger booth on the floor. Summit will also show off the pic at its own booth.

"We could only show a sneak peek of 'Astro' last year," said Erin Corbett, prexy of Imagi Studios USA and exec VP of global marketing for the company. "Now that we have 98% of the film finished, we're excited to show fans scenes they're dying to see."

Making sure the rights scenes are chosen can be stressful, because you "get such an honest response," Corbett said. "You know very quickly how people feel about your property."

But she adds that it's so important to connect with fans. "You couldn't ask for a more dedicated crowd. They live it, wear it. We're just giving back to them."
USA Today - Astro Boy will fly into theaters in a blast from cartoon past - Delves into the roots and resonance of the character.
"Astro Boy has been slumbering in the American consciousness," says animé historian Frederik L. Schodt, author of The Astro Boy Essays. "Even young Japanese (where he's a national icon) are more familiar with the character than the story."
Moviefone - 'Astro Boy': Family Fare or Fanboy Fave? - Explores Astro as both a family movie and as one for fans of the character.
Fanboys and families alike should get ready for 'Astro Boy.' The Japanese anime icon -- apparently he's the Mickey Mouse of Japan -- is getting his first feature-length film. It's not out till Oct. 23, but we recently got a sneak peek. Though we won't speak for the manga-loving crowd, we can (and will!) say that in terms of kid appeal, 'Astro Boy' looks to be ready for his close-up.
Why Bill Nighy's now voicing toons: Astro Boy, Rango - Interview with the voice of Dr. Elefun.
"I didn't really know about Astro Boy, but as soon as ... a few things were explained to me, I was so pleased to be in Astro Boy," Nighy said. "They have statues in Japan of Astro Boy. They have whole stores, obviously, dedicated to Astro Boy. I love Astro Boy. I've seen some of it and it looks really smart and really cool. I'm hoping to go to Tokyo in October for the premiere. I'd love to be there, because it will be such a big event."
Stay plugged in to ABW for more as it happens!

Continue reading "Tons of Astro Coverage!"...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

AWM Checks out Astro

Another in the lucky batch of folks to get a preview of Imagi's upcoming Astro Boy movie, Animation World Magazine brings us their impressions of what was shown, along with some more technical insight that both artists and Tezuka fans may find interesting.

Character Designer Luis Grane had this to say about transitioning characters from the manga into the realm of 3D animation.

"One of other characters, Dr. Tenma, has the Jacometti influence: he looks like a stick from the front but in profile takes on more dimensionality. A big problem was with Dr. Elefun [Bill Nighy]. He has a balloon nose that you can cheat in 2D by moving it around, but, in 3D, it stays in the same place and you can't see the eyes. So we had to work on it."
And from Animation Director Jakob Jensen:
"The main challenge was to maintain the simplicity so inherent in the original. We very quickly figured that this trash can character [a robotic dog] was going to be golden for us because he's limited in his movement and we had to figure out the [balance between the mechanical and the organic and keeping him cute]. When we decided to approach Freddy Highmore for the voice, I decided to put together a little test from August Rush to see how it would feel with his voice coming out of our character."
Read "Astro Boy Gets Re-imagined by Imagi" on AWM, but again, watch out for spoilers! Something of a major plot detail is dropped!

Continue reading "AWM Checks out Astro"...

Early Astro Movie Impressions: They Like it!

So, apparently, some lucky industry folks got an early glimpse at the upcoming Astro Boy animated movie from Imagi. From what I have gathered from a few different sources is that after being granted the opportunity to view a few clips of the film in progress, the buzz on the movie is looking extremely positive.

MTV Splash Page had this to say:

Fans should be pleased to know that Imagi’s take on “Astro Boy” is incredibly faithful to the various incarnations of the character of the years, right down to the “butt machine guns”. Extensive work has also been done by the Imagi artists to create accurate 3D versions of the 2D drawings and it’s safe to say that they’ve pulled it off; the look is Tezuka through and through.
And io9 sums up their experience with this:
Bottom line: the movie is about more than just cute robots and funny characters. The few clips we viewed were polished to perfection, and the original feel of Tezuka's series is intact. I really hope American kids learn to embrace this character because he's got the rocket boot-strappy know-how of a great hero. Plus who doesn't love that hair? So far so good, we can't wait to see more.

Neither site is offering any new images or video with their coverage, but there is some information about the clips they saw, including plot details and descriptions of some of the other robots in the film. Check out "'Astro Boy' Footage Preview: Behind The Scenes With Imagi Studios!" from MTV and "New Astro Boy Clips Explore The Metal Boy's Soul" from i09, but be warned, there are spoilers afoot! It's not too bad, but if you want to be totally surprised for when you actually see the movie, you might not want to read.

I'll say this much now. It really does seem that the Astro's blue power source is going to be an important part of the film's plot. It's not entirely the same as the more outwardly political issue of Astro's nuclear power in the original manga, but it could wind up being along the same lines, just disguised a little bit. I'm ok with that.

But what I really want to know is... what does it take for a guy like me to get invited to these things?

Continue reading "Early Astro Movie Impressions: They Like it!"...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Dopeness, Apparently.

I found this strange Astro Boy mash-up artwork online. It's from some kind of gallery showing called "Crime and Charity". Don't really know what to think of it, but I'm told that "The dopeness of this is self-explanatory". Click for a larger view.

So there you have it. Self explanatory dopeness.
Source: Lim & Co.

Continue reading "The Dopeness, Apparently."...

Congrats to Fred Schodt!

Author and translator Frederik L. Schodt, the man who translated the Astro Boy manga for Dark Horse, was honored by the Japanese government last month with the Order of the Rising Sun for his work in bringing Japanese popular culture to the English speaking world. This is certainly a much deserved accolade.

The ceremony was held in San Fransisco, and lucky for us, a couple of the attendees have shared their experience online. Check out Same Hat! for Jared Cook's report, complete with info on the award and pictures. Then take a look at The Bittermelon for Jenn Yin's coverage, which contains a video of Tezuka Production's president Takayuki Matsutani singing the Tetsuwan Atomu theme song. Yes, you read that right. Must be seen to be believed!

Fred himself has uploaded the text he wrote for his acceptance speech. It's a great read so check it out here. Really puts into perspective just how far we've come in the world of Manga.

Major congratulations go out to Mr. Schodt for earning such a prestigious award.

Continue reading "Congrats to Fred Schodt!"...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Astro Game Voice Talent & Website

Big time update on the Astro Boy video game, set for release this fall from D3Publisher to coincide with the CG animated movie by Imagi.

Freddie Highmore (Astro) and Kristen Bell (Cora) will be reprising their vocal roles from the film in the game. This should give players a great experience to go along with the movie. I would not expect others like Nicolas Cage to be in the game too, but at least it's something.

There is a brand new Astro Boy: The Game website, with pictures and information, as well as a Facebook page dedicated to the game, for you kids out there who are into that sort of thing.

Thanks to David at fortyseven communications for sending me this info directly! You can check out a press release with all the details by clicking the link below.


Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell Reprise Their Film Roles in Video Game Based on Imagi Studios’ Astro Boy Movie To Be Released by Summit Entertainment On October 23, 2009

LOS ANGELES – July 14, 2009 – D3Publisher announced today that ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME, based on Imagi Studios’ highly anticipated CG-animated movie, will feature the voice talents of Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell. Both actors will reprise their onscreen voiced roles of Astro Boy (Highmore), and Cora (Bell) in a video game that will take players on an epic adventure to save Metro City from the clutches of evil. ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME will be available in North American retail stores for Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, and the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system on October 20, 2009 to coincide with Summit Entertainment’s nationwide domestic release of the movie on October 23, 2009.

“We’re pleased to work with both Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell on ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME,” said Alison Quirion, vice president of marketing, D3Publisher. “Their participation adds an even greater level of authenticity to the video game and further immerses players in the Astro Boy universe.”

Erin Corbett, president of Imagi Studios U.S. and chief marketing officer worldwide, said: “ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME is a prime representation of the deep and wide-ranging partnerships we have lined up in all major licensing and promotional partner categories. We are pleased to be able to expand the Astro Boy universe along with the fan experience through the film’s video game companion.”

In ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME, players become the iconic hero, Astro Boy, and take to the streets and skies on an epic adventure to save Metro City from the clutches of the evil President Stone and his robot army. Utilizing Astro’s entire arsenal of iconic weapons and abilities--Finger Lasers, Arm Cannon, Butt Machine Guns and Drill Attacks, players will battle hordes of robot enemies and colossal bosses including some never-before-seen enemies across Metro City and the mysterious Surface. Using an intuitive combat system that adds depth to gameplay, players will experience classic platform action and exhilarating flight combat levels as they use Astro’s unique rocket boosters to hover, avoid enemies and zip out of the way of danger. ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME offers numerous unlockable and collectible elements that include exclusive art work, different versions of Astro Boy and more, as players live the story solo or side by side with a friend in 2 player co-op mode on Wii and the PlayStation 2 system.

ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME for Wii, PlayStation 2 system and PSP system is rated “E10+” (Everyone 10 and up – Fantasy Violence) and is under development by High Voltage Software. The Nintendo DS version is rated “E” (Everyone – Fantasy Violence) and is under development by Art Co. Ltd.

For more information on ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME, including game features, screenshots, and videos, please visit:

About Astro Boy

Imagi Studios is currently in post-production on Astro Boy, produced by Maryann Garger, directed by David Bowers (Flushed Away), and written by Timothy Harris (Kindergarten Cop, Trading Places) and Bowers. The CG-animated motion picture features the voices of Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland and Nicolas Cage as ‘Dr. Tenma’.

Set in the future, Astro Boy is a classic superhero origin story about a young robot with incredible powers and his adventure-filled journey in search of his identity and destiny, taking him into a netherworld of robot gladiators before he returns to save Metro City.

The iconic character Astro Boy has found global popularity since his creation in the early 1950s by Japan’s Osamu Tezuka, known as the “god of manga” and “father of anime”, and has been the hero of three acclaimed animated television series aired around the world.

Astro Boy, slated for North American release on October 23, 2009, is being distributed worldwide by Summit Entertainment except for Imagi’s reserved territories of Japan, Hong Kong and China.

About Summit Entertainment, LLC

Summit Entertainment, LLC is a worldwide theatrical motion picture development, financing, production and distribution studio. The studio handles all aspects of marketing and distribution for both its own internally developed motion pictures as well as acquired pictures. Summit Entertainment also represents international sales for both its own slate and third-party product. Summit Entertainment plans to release 10 to 12 films annually.

About Imagi

Imagi International Holdings Limited (Stock Code 585, OTCQX: IINHY) is a listed company on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Imagi Studios’ principal business is the development and production of CG-animated theatrical feature films. Imagi’s first theatrical movie TMNT was released in March 2007, opening #1 in U.S. box office revenue, the first time in history that an Asian animated film achieved that honor. Imagi’s CG production studios are located at its Chai Wan (Hong Kong) corporate headquarters with development and marketing operations based in Los Angeles, California, and an office in Tokyo. Astro Boy is Imagi’s next motion picture for worldwide theatrical release in October 2009. For further information, please visit

About High Voltage Software, Inc.

High Voltage Software, Inc. is an award-winning studio that has been developing games and simulations for over 16 years. Located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, it now employs over 170 staff members. The independent company has successfully produced a wide variety of license-based video game titles that include competitive racing, professional sports, horror, motion picture adaptations, and military simulations, and is now making its foray into original and innovative intellectual properties. More information about High Voltage Software and its products can be found at

About D3Publisher

D3Publisher, a subsidiary of D3, Inc., is a leading interactive entertainment publisher and distributor for licensed and original titles for personal computers, major console platforms and handheld systems. D3Publisher has operations in the U.S., U.K., and Japan. The company also owns development studio Vicious Cycle Software, Inc., and its technology platform, Vicious Engine. Recent releases have included Dark Sector®, Dead Head Fred®, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords®, Ben 10™: Protector of Earth and BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE™The Game. For more information about D3Publisher, please visit:

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Hard to Swallow?

Check out this cool promo image for the English version of Osamu Tezuka's manga "Swallowing the Earth", available now thanks to the fine folks at Digital Manga Publishing. Click for a larger version.

My interest is piqued! It's a very cool ad considering the age of the material. It's about time old-school manga got some play like this!

You can get a copy and help support AstroBoyWorld by clicking on this Amazon link.

Continue reading "Hard to Swallow?"...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Astro Movie @ Comic Con 2009

Here is our first batch of news about how the upcoming CG Animated Astro Boy movie from Imagi will be making an impact at the San Diego Comic Con later this month.

Here are two notable events from the schedule for Thursday July 23rd, which is the first official day of the convention.

10:15 A.M. - 11:15 A.M.: Summit Entertainment: "Astro Boy" (Room 6BCF)

* Director David Bowers, producer Maryanne Grager, and stars Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell debut footage exclusive to Comic-Con 2009 and answer your questions about bringing this beloved hero to the big screen.
Wow, you're going to want to get up early for that! A whole hour panel dedicated to Astro Boy.

And later that day.
1:45 P.M. - 2:45 P.M.: Summit Entertainment (Hall H)*

* Join Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell as they premiere the final trailer for "Astro Boy" before it's in theaters.
So we have one more trailer to look forward to, and those of you attending in San Diego will get to see it first.

I'll be looking into other events related to Astro Boy, Tezuka, and things of common interest soon. If anyone is planning to be there, please contact me. It would be great to have an agent on the scene!

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Tezuka's Animated Shorts Coming to DVD!

I'm back, and with some big news!

Kino International has anounced that they will be releasing a DVD containing Osamu Tezuka's experimental animated short films. This is sure to be an incredible opportunity for fans in the US and Canada to finally see and officially own these unique pieces of animation history. Included in the collection are such classics as Jumping, Broken Down Film, and the original Legend of the Forest. A subtitled interview with Tezuka is also included on the disk.

This DVD is set for release on July 28th. Check out all the details on "The Astonishing Work of Tezuka Osamu" on and watch a brief trailer with some examples of the animation included in the collection. The link below also has the product description and track listing. Make sure you pre-order, because I can't see this DVD lasting very long once it's released!

The Astonishing Work of TEZUKA OSAMU

Known as the “god of manga” and the “father of anime,” Tezuka Osamu (1928 – 1989) has created hundreds of comics, dozens of films, and even some television series (including such internationally beloved shows as “Astro Boy” and “Kimba the White Lion.”) His pioneering, unparalleled career is without rival for its extraordinary range of visual styles.

Included in this set are some of Osamu’s most legendary works, including Pictures at an Exhibition and Legend of the Forest. The former combines 10 individual short vignettes to create stunning visual riffs on classic fine art. But the 30-minute Legend of the Forest is the animator’s masterpiece. An epic of forest faeries, sprites, wizards, and animals defending themselves against greedy industrialists bent on destroying nature, the film stylistically traces the evolution of animation from 19th-century etchings, to Disney and Fleischer cartoons, to contemporary anime. The animation in Legend of the Forest is as ravishing and inventive as anything seen in Disney’s Fantasia.

Kimstim is proud to release this astonishingly imaginative collection of Osamu’s 13 most innovative pieces, many of which are the master’s own personal favorites.

1. Tales of the Street Corner / 1962 / 16:9 / 39:04 / English Subtitles
2. Male / 1962 / 4:3 / 03:09 / English Subtitles
3. Memory / 1964 / 4:3 / 05:40 / English Subtitles
4. Mermaid / 1964 / 4:3 / 08:17 / No Dialog
5. The Drop / 1965 / 4:3 / 04:18 / No Dialog
6. Pictures at an Exhibition / 1966 / 16:9 / 32:56 / No dialog
7. The Genesis / 1968 / 4:3 / 04:02 / English Subtitles / B&W
8. Jumping / 1984 / 4:3 / 06:22 / No Dialog
9. Broken Down Film / 1985 / 4:3 / 05:42 / No Dialog / B&W
10. Push / 1987 / 4:3 / 04:16 / English Subtitles
11. Muramasa / 1987 / 16:9 / 08:42 / No Dialog
12. Legend of the Forest / 1987 / 16:9 / 29:25 / No Dialog
13. Self Portrait / 1988 / 0.13 / No Dialog

Also includes:
Interview with Tezuka / 1986 / 4:3 / 18:19 / English Subtitles

Continue reading "Tezuka's Animated Shorts Coming to DVD!"...

Monday, July 6, 2009


I have nothing to talk about right now and I might not be able to update for the next few days.

So, to tide you over, here are some spoons.

Astro Spoons!

Wish I knew more about these, but the fact that they exist is freaky/cool enough for me.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

New Astro Game Screens + Impressions

Wow, that's a lot of bad guys.

Kotaku recently got a close look at the Nintendo Wii version of the upcoming Astro Boy video game, developed by High Voltage Software and published by D3 Publisher. There are plenty of screens and some new impressions of the game, including a little bit about how the game will take advantage of the Wii's unique controller. Make sure you check out Kotaku's Astro Boy Video Game Impressions and see for yourself.

It seems to be shaping up nicely!

Continue reading "New Astro Game Screens + Impressions"...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kristen Bell Winning Hearts

Slice of Sci-Fi has a short interview with actress Kristen Bell, who is well known for her roles in Veronica Mars and Heroes, and will be the voice of Cora in the upcoming animated Astro Boy movie from Imagi.

There is some new information about who exactly Cora is, as well as a revelation that footage of the movie will debut at the San Diego Comic Con later this month.

It's also got a picture of Kristen dressed up as Princess Leia in the gold bikini from the movie Fanboys, which is a nice bonus!

You can read Bell Looks To Win Hearts with “AstroBoy” on or by clicking the link below for an archived version right here.

Bell Looks To Win Hearts with “AstroBoy”
July 1, 2009 by Michael Hickerson

Already near and dear to the hearts of fanboys everywhere, actress Kristen Bell acknowledges that her new voice-over role in the upcoming big-screen, CGI version of “AstroBoy” could win her even more a legion of new fanboys.

“I play Cora, who is a girl who befriends Astro when he comes down from Metro City onto the surface of Earth,” Bell told SciFi Wire. “She runs a little kind of like Peter Pan group of kids. She’s pretty tough, pretty sassy.”

And despite being a self-professed fan of a lot of genre properties, Bell admits she was a novice when it came to the universe of “AstroBoy.”

“I didn’t know Astro Boy at all, but now I’m immersed and have all the little toys and stuff,” she said.

As for the movie, which will debut some footage at the upcoming San Diego ComicCon, Bell says she’s seen a lot of the movie and that it looks fantastic.

“It looks amazing,” she said. “To be involved in the process is really exciting, because you see the layers that they put on, and you see when they don’t have the 3-D involved and then when they do, and you see when it’s just penciled out. It was a really interesting process.”

Bell is best-known for her work on two television series. She played the title character on “Veronica Mars” and had a recurring role as Elle on “Heroes.” She also starred in the just-released-on-DVD movie “Fanboys” where she memorably dressed up in the famous metal bikini from “Return of the Jedi.”

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