Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Summit Entertainment

Directed by:

David Bowers (Flushed Away)

Starring:

Voices of Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy; Kristen Bell as Cora; Nicolas Cage as Dr. Tenma; Bill Nighy as Dr. Elefun; Donald Sutherland as President Stone; Nathan Lane as HamEgg

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

Astro Boy

Thanks to the wonders of advanced science, Metro City has escaped the threat of Earth's pollution problems and been set afloat in the clean air above the clouds. Life is good and getting better thanks to the groundbreaking efforts of the brilliant Dr. Tenma. But during an experiment with a new "blue core" energy source, Tenma's son, Toby, is accidentally killed. Devastated, the scientist locks himself away and uses the powerful blue core to create a DNA-enhanced, rocket-propelled, robotic version of his son.

As perfect as the new supercharged Toby is, though, the grieving dad can't accept him as anything but a painful reminder of his loss. So the robot finds himself abandoned and drops to the earth where he meets other outcasts and is renamed Astro Boy. Astro Boy constantly makes the right and often self-sacrificial choice to protect others—no matter what the cost. He also maintains a deep desire to be part of a family and find a father figure who will sincerely care about him.

The movie features a series of high-action chases and battles: Quite a few robots are bashed, smashed and detonated. A few crude words are spoken—but nothing that you wouldn't hear on Nickelodeon—and bathroom humor is used a couple of times for laughs.

Overall, Astro Boy stays true to its Japanese comic roots. There are a few tough scenes where Dr. Tenma mourns the loss of his son and Astro Boy deals with being abandoned. But for the most part this is a kid-friendly flick that encourages love, friendship, self-sacrifice and being heroic in the face of danger.

Copyright © 2009 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com