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Astro Boy

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 10/21/2009

Fast-moving, lightweight animated entertainment with just enough weirdness in the details to mess with still-forming brains, Japanese comics king Osamu Tezuka's most mainstream creation is presented stylishly enough to please animation enthusiasts, along with a spattering of surprisingly on-point allusions to recent world history, and none of the usual scatological crutches that have crept into cartoon features in the name of lowest common denominator accessibility. Dr. Tenma (voiced by Nicolas Cage) misses his dead son, so he misappropriates some cool blue glowing government-issue science-stuff to power Toby, a futuristic Pinocchio who doesn't quite know who he is or where he fits in on his way to becoming our titular hero. The slapstick-violent giant robot action is pleasingly kinetic and scary on that sorta Godzilla-style giant monster-movie level. No reason they shouldn't make another one of these in six months.

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