Review: Astro Boy DVD

Astro Boy DVD boxSTUDIO: Summit | DIRECTOR: David Bowers | CAST: Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell, Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy
RELEASE DATE: 3/16/2010 | PRICE: DVD $26.99, Blu-ray $34.99
BONUSES: featurettes, new animated sequences, art gallery
SPECS: PG | 94 min. | animated family | 16×9 | 5.1 Dolby Digital audio | English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Summit Entertainment‘s sweet adaptation of the classic Astro Boy is like a cross between WALL-E and Stephen Spielberg’s A.I., with a little Iron Man thrown in for good measure. It’s definitely a family movie. Although it leans toward the youngest viewers, there’s enough to keep parents interested, at least in the first viewing.

Astro Boy movie sceneBased on the classic manga character, the movie tells the story of a robot boy caught between the world of humans and slave robots. As Nicolas Cage (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) says in the “Inside the Recording Booth” featurette,” it’s like a “sci-fi version of Pinocchio.

Cage, who played the voice of Astro Boy’s father, said he grew up watching the original Astro Boy TV show. Fellow voice cast actors David Alan Grier (The Hustle) and Donald Sutherland (The Mechanic) also said they were fans. Sutherland admited that he had a statue of Astro Boy in his house.

The voice cast also includes When in Rome‘s Kristen Bell, Underworld‘s Bill Nighy and The Spiderwick Chronicles‘ Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy himself.

Summit packed into the DVD two fun new animated sequences with the movie’s characters, four featurettes and an extensive Astro Boy image gallery showing the use of the character’s image around the world.

As well as the voice cast featurette, the other featurettes teach kids how to draw Astro Boy, how to make an animated movie and how to get Astro Boy’s haircut (lots of gel).

We reviewed the DVD version, and the audio and video were great, but Astro Boy will no doubt look stellar on Blu-ray.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.