Astro Boy has long been a well known property in the US, though it has become more of a nostalgic series in the last decade or so for the fans who grew up with it on TV when they were children. When Imagi Animation got involved with creating a new movie, their particular CG style of animation seemed well suited to taking Osamu Tezuka's original work and breathing a new life into it for a new generation. And with Imagi taking the helm of another anime classic with Gatchaman that is a bit more serious and dealing with older characters, Astro Boy is a litmus test to see how well they can do.
My experienced with Astro Boy in previous incarnations is pretty minimal simply because it wasn't part of my generation and the anime I've seen from that time period have been unappealing, including the episodes of Astro Boy I've seen. I've enjoyed many other works by Osamu Tezuka, but Astro Boy never clicked. So I went into the film with a pretty open mind and with my kids in tow because I have no real attachment to the original. What I have an attachment to is Tezuka's particular style of design, the worlds he creates and the kind of wonder he infused in so many of his works.
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