Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
|Featuring:||Nicolas Cage (Dr. Tenma—voice), Matt Lucas (Sparx—voice), Kristen Bell (Cora—voice), Samuel L. Jackson (Zog—voice), Charlize Theron (“Our Friends” Narrator—voice), Bill Nighy (Dr. Elefun—voice), Freddie Highmore (Astro Boy—voice), Donald Sutherland (President Stone—voice), Moises Arias (Zane—voice), Nathan Lane (Ham Egg—voice), Eugene Levy (Orrin—voice), Madeline Carroll (Widget / Grace—voice), Ryan Stiles (Mr. Pistachio—voice), Sterling Beaumon (Sludge—voice), Victor Bonavida (Sam—voice), Tony Matthews (Cora’s Dad—voice)|
|Producer:||Imagi Animation Studios, Imagi Crystal, Tezuka Production Company Ltd., Pilar Flynn, Maryann Garger, Francis Kao, Cecil Kramer, Ken Tsumura, Paul Wang|
“Have a blast.”
Astroboy was a Japanese series in 60’s. This plot of this movie is based on that series, however, with today’s graphics, this movie is a far cry from the original series. Toby (Freddie Highmore) is a nine year old genius who has no mother and his father, Dr. Tenma (Nicolas Cage) is the Ministry of Science for Metro City. The inhabitants of Metro City float above the Earth and the inhabitants have robots shop, cook and serve them. They dispose of trash and broken robots by throwing them on the planet below.
Toby finishes with class early and looks forward to spending time with his dad, but his dad is too busy meeting with President Stone (Donald Sutherland) to show him the latest development known as The Peacekeeper. The giant robot will be fitted with a new energy source; Blue core energy is made by a fragment of an exploding star, but the byproduct is negative red energy. The dangers of red energy are unknown. Of course, the goal of President Stone is to take over the world, and he wants the Peacekeeper fitted with the negative red energy.
Toby sneaks into the lab as the experiment is being conducted. Toby is killed and the only thing left is his hat. Grieving, Dr. Tenma makes a robot that looks like his son, complete with all his memories. Toby is powered by blue core energy. Dr. Tenma doesn’t want to let his son far from him and decides to teach Toby at home, but soon realizes that although the robot looks like his son, he is not Toby. Dr. Tenma tells Toby he doesn’t want him anymore, and Toby ends up on the planet below assuming the name Astroboy.
VIOLENCE: There are fight scenes, blowing things up, and robots chasing Astroboy. There is a scene similar to Roman gladiator games. These are games for robots to fight until one robot is killed. Several different robots take on Astroboy. A robot tries to kill HamEgg (Nathan Lane). The evil robot continues to grow bigger and bigger and destroys most everything in its path. A girl kicks the President. Toby is killed.
LANGUAGE: Use of words such as Idiot. Astroboy says “I’ve got a machine gun in my butt”.
OTHER OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT: Toby steals a key card to get out of a room he has been locked in. There is a Lenin poster hanging on the wall in one scene. Dr. Tenma gives Toby Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason to read. A comment is made about HamEgg’s work repairing robots, and he says “It’s kind of a religious thing with me.” As HamEgg and the children sit down to eat, Astroboy says, “What have we forgotten”—“Grace,” and HamEgg tells a little girl named Grace to turn the TV on. Astroboy lies about being a robot because he is afraid of not being accepted. A sunbather is shown, and at the end of the movie Astroboy is shown with little clothing. There is one scene where 2 small robots are scared and “leak oil.”
POSITIVE CONTENT: There clearly is the message that everyone is created for a purpose. Furthermore, good versus evil is a theme throughout the movie. From the scientists in the lab to the robots, the audience is shown people making choices for good or evil. Astroboy is willing to risk his life to defend the people and planet against evil. He realizes that his purpose for being created is to defeat evil. One girl who has run away is shown reuniting with her parents.
God has called us to a life of choosing good. Psalm 34:14 says, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” This is an excellent movie to discuss the differences between good and evil and making choices that promote good. Astroboy is shown over and over making the choice for good, even at his own expense.
“Astroboy” is a cute movie aimed at children from about 5-7 and up. My youngest is 5, and he did get bored in a few parts, but he was not scared. However, I am sure some younger children will be scared with some of the fighting scenes. My entire family enjoyed this movie. It was entertaining with the wonderful message—we all have a purpose. We will see this movie again.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.