Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Old School Anime: ASTRO BOY (1960)

When I was five years old, I had two favorite shows. Fifty years later, this is the one worth watching. The other was "Supercar", one of those old marionette shows.

"Astro Boy" is the English Language version of what has been called the first anime, in many ways a forerunner of Stephen Spielberg's AI. He's a sort of superhero Pinocchio, a thinking and feeling robot created by a grief-maddened scientist to replace a dead son, cruelly abandoned by the scientist for not being a real boy (failing to grow). The pathos and humor that made anime a huge part of world culture are well-represented here.

From Wikipedia:

Astro Boy was adapted into the first popular animated Japanese television series that embodied the aesthetic that later became familiar worldwide as anime.[3] It originated as a manga in 1952 by Osamu Tezuka, revered in Japan as the "God of Manga."[4] After enjoying success abroad, Astro Boy was remade in the 1980s as Shin Tetsuwan Atomu, known as Astroboy in other countries, and again in 2003. In November 2007, he was named Japan's envoy for overseas safety.[5] An American computer-animated 3-D film based on the original manga series by Tezuka was released on October 23, 2009.

Trailer for the 2009 computer generated feature:

More episodes of the original ASTRO BOY can be seen at this youtube channel:

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