Sunday, October 25, 2009

10 Things Parents Should Know About Astro Boy

Wired Magazine has an interesting article about the Astro Boy movie from the point of a view of parents taking their kids to see it. It's a fair look at the film, what kids will like, what adults will like, and when the best time to take a bathroom break is (!).

It's very cool to see this film get support in such unique ways as this.

You can read "10 Things Parents Should Know About Astro Boy" on or by clicking the link below for an archived version.

By Anton Olsen | October 25, 2009 | 10:00 am

Will I like it?

Yes. Unless of course you hate robots then maybe not. There is a lot to this story that will appeal to the entire audience and a good mix of side stories that appeal to kids or parents.

Will my kids like it?

Absolutely. I don’t believe there is a kid alive that won’t like this film. The story is exciting, full of suspense, and intrigue without being startling or too scary.

What’s the geek appeal?

Robots, super hero action, morality plays, and a good dose of advanced technology. Also, plenty of nostalgia for us older geeks and a chance to share some of our past in a form our kids will enjoy.

Who’s in it again?

Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson, and plenty more. The voice actors all fit the part, and did a great job. The animated characters in the movie all carried some likeness to their voice actors, except maybe Zog, he didn’t look much like Samuel L. Jackson.

Any memorable previews?

A couple that didn’t appear either memorable, or for kids. A very short teaser for “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” that might be good. “Old Dogs”: A comedy with Robin Williams and John Travolta that could be funny if they didn’t use up all the funny scenes in the trailer. “Spy Next Door”: Another comedy with Jackie Chan, Billy Ray, and George Lopez. This one looks like a cross between Spy Kids and Rush Hour.

Will kids want to see it again?

Yes, again, and again. Mine are both talking about catching it in the cheaper local theater in a couple weeks.

Does it ruin the original manga?

Not at all. Though I must admit I haven’t seen the original Japanese series (first aired in 1963), but I did thouroughly enjoy the US release in the 80s. A few plot points, like Toby’s death (and even his name) have been updated but overall it remains true to the original, and may even surpass it in some ways.

Is it a rip-off of the old Pinocchio story?

Certainly not. While some reviews have drawn that analogy, I think they are wrong. For starters, Astro is a lot more than a dim witted wooden doll that likes to lie. I’m also certain that Geppetto never dreamed of putting machine guns in any of his creations, let alone in their butt.

It’s PG, but how PG is it?

Not very. There is plenty of action, peril, and some mild language, but neither of my kids or their friend were scared by it. I don’t know if the creators pulled a few punches, but the darkest and most intense parts of the movie still remained optimistic and possibly a little predictable.

What’s the best time for a bathroom break?

There is really only one good time to take a break. Just past the half-way point when Astro Boy uses his blue energy for the first time. You have about 4-5 minutes before the action starts back up.


Anonymous said...

I really agree with each point regarding this film, except for maybe the last one. I hate missing anything during a movie by taking a bathroom break (I won't drink anything beforehand just in case lol), but that's easier said than done for many kids.

I was hoping the film would have done better at the box office on opening weekend. Mind you, I saw very little promotion. I know there was a campaign, but I never saw any of the commercials on TV. I may not have known the film was coming out if I weren't already a fan. All in all though, I really enjoyed it. Kids won't be disappointed, and it doesn't insult their intelligence.