Hong Kong-based Imagi Studio's Astro Boy "merges the best of western and eastern animation styles," said Des Partridge in Australia's The Courier Mail. Based on the popular 1960s Japanese television show about a grieving scientist who builds a robot child to replace his deceased son, Astro Boy (watch the trailer) is a "frequently moving epic adventure" that "should satisfy both adults and children."
The CG animation in Astro Boy is "stunning," said Tim Grierson in ScreenDaily.com, and it "creates an exciting, high-tech environment for the film's flashy robot battles." But the movie feels like it's "been assembled from spare parts," and although the filmmakers try to make us "sympathize with Astro's predicament of being both man and machine," the story "underwhelms."
It's too bad, said Roger Moore in The Orlando Sentinel, because "lovely dollops of wit and warmth float through" Astro Boy. But nothing can save this "thinly-plotted cartoon from sagging," and the "look, themes and slam-bang Transformers violence" of the original Japanese series make this updated version feel "every bit as dated as Speed Racer."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- Girls on Film: Belle is one of the most groundbreaking, joyous movies of the summer
- 10 things you need to know today: August 30, 2014
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
Subscribe to the Week