Astro Boy To Be Released October 23rd 2009 – Who Cares?

For those that care, a big announcement was just made about the upcoming Astro Boy movie. Apparently an official release date has been set. That date is October 23rd 2009. Seems the studio honchos are pretty pumped about their little movie. Our friends over at IESB give us the following:

Produced by Imagi Studios, the CG-animated motion picture will bow on over 3,000 screens across North America. International release dates for the film are to be announced soon.

“We are pleased to bring the exceptional world of Astro Boy to the big screen for movie-goers in North America,” said Friedman. “We have lined up some key marketing partners for the film and our October date allows us to put the film out at the right time enabling our partners to reach their targeted audiences with on-going marketing programs tied to the film.” “A beloved icon for over half-a-century, this marks Astro Boy’s first time on the big screen, making our film one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year,” stated Corbett.

I’m sorry… did that guy just say that Astro Boy is “one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year”?!?!?! Is this guy high on crack??? Who is this guy polling for this information exactly? His employees in the lunch room?

Look, Astro Boy is a cute little property, but if these guys think Astro Boy is going to carry with it the same nostalgia factor that Transformers does then he and his whole damn company are in for a very rude awakening. I know I’ve already said this about Dragonball… but it also applies here: Astro Boy is going to be another Speed Racer like bomb. No one (on any real scale) cares about Astro Boy. No one cares that Nic Cage is doing the voice. No sir, Astro Boy is NOT “one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year”. Wake up.

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44 thoughts on “Astro Boy To Be Released October 23rd 2009 – Who Cares?

  1. speed racer needs to be watched under the influence..

    of drugs i mean im not talking about beer…

    that shit needs to be watched when youre totally blazed!!!!!

  2. My wife and I are both pumped to be seeing ASTRO BOY. I don’t think it is safe to say that it is one of the mostly highly anticipated movies of the year. But amongst it’s core fan base, the people are excited for this to be happenning.

    my 2 cents, for what they may be worth. (which is probably just 2cents)

  3. Every movie made has a press release like this, so why are you picking on Astro Boy? So they threw down some hyperbole, Every movie does. I don’t give a F— about Astro Boy, but this is almost bullying…

  4. John, Astro Boy is more that just a “cute little property”. My friend at astroboyworld.blogspot.com has posted an excellent editorial on “What’s so great about Astro Boy.” He does a better on making a case for Astro Boy than me so I copy and paste it here:

    So now, the question is what’s so great about AstroBoy?

    On the surface, AstroBoy looks like an innocent diversionary tale for children about a doe-eyed robot boy who fights against bad guys. Go deeper and you’ll find that it’s anything but just a simple kids’ story. AstroBoy deals with big, important issues. Civil rights, racism, man vs. technology, science vs morality, war, and death are all topics that are dealt with. That’s some pretty heavy stuff! Yet these things are all brought to light in ways that are accessible to everyone without sacrificing any of the action or excitement. What’s most amazing is that these complex and often dark subjects never compromise the positive and uplifting nature of the main character.

    AstroBoy is a good guy, through and through. What makes him interesting is that he represents all that is good about humanity, and yet he is not human. He’s loaded with weapons, but only fights for peace. Even in incredibly complicated situations, he is so moral and pure, often to a naive degree, and he always does the right thing despite not always understanding why. He’s such a a truly heroic character that even the most jaded of individual can’t help but to cheer for the little guy.

    There are story elements in AstroBoy that are just as socially and culturally relevant today then they were when they were first written. That’s a big reason why AstroBoy will never really go away. The level of depth to the story of this Mighty Atom has certainly been influential on other creators who gone on to create stories of their own. This is often what sets Japanese animation and comics apart from the rest of the world and makes them special, and AstroBoy helped to set that standard for quality of storytelling. It helped to make what we know as modern day manga and anime what they are. Even as technology continues to catch up with imagination, and even as new characters and new franchises are introduced to new fans, there will always be something to learn from that kid robot who started his adventures half a century ago.

    So, as important as it is to acknowledge AstroBoy as the forerunner to the anime phenomenon, it isn’t fair to him to stick him in the front just because he was the first. He deserves to be there! He’s not just some cute character who happened to star in an old show and comic. He’s an amazing character who is part of a complex and imaginative story with far reaching implications to our own lives. He’s been on a wide array of exciting and imaginative adventures. He’s raised questions about the the role of technology and what it means to be human. He’s a symbol for everything that anime stands for as a valid form of expression and entertainment. And, above all, he’s a fun character who makes people happy worldwide. That, my friends, is why AstroBoy is so great.

    Plus, he shoots lasers out of his fingers. How cool is that?

  5. i personally cant wait….i just saw speed racer and i freakin loved it….do not understand all the bad reviews, imo the best conversation from cartoon to film ever……kept the original goofy, campy fun of the cartoon and hit all the right notes…..i felt like a big kid watching it….

    if astro boy can have a decent enough trailer i think it will do well….ive found that the internet hurts movies more than it should….if enough blogs and fanboys diss a movie enough it can change some peoples mind….

    people are beginning to expect too much out of some of these films….astro boy will hopefully be a fun lil adventure for kids with some cool action scenes and im all for it……and it cant be any worse than transformers…

    and as a long time dragon ball fan, the movie looks like shit…

  6. Astro Boy actually has a very good story now and then. But… It’s not one of the most anticipated movie in my opinion and the fact that Cortbett said that this movie is one of the most anticipated of 2009 makes me laugh.

    Well, being a CGI / animation maniac, I prefer to make myself wait for UP from Pixar on 2009.

  7. I am looking forward to Astro Boy. I like just about anything CG, as it is a field I am trying to get into. Igor did poorly probably for the fact it did not look interesting. Nothing has been shown of how Astro Boy is going to look as far as I know of, so it is way to early to judge. The Astro Boy character itself is pretty dope and iconic, I can not wait to see how they do the CG for him and the movie as a whole.

  8. i enjoyed cgi animations like Shrek, Toy Story and The Incredibles. All three have no history or nostalgic value but was created for movie sake (as far as i know) but then again, if it does have nostalgic or long running comic series, it all boils down to story telling. I don’t care if its animated, stickmen, stop motion or still pictures, if the story sucks, its a waste of time and money. Movies are made to tell stories, to send messages while being entertained.

  9. Astroboy’s still pretty big in Japan and Europe. There was a movie quality TV mini-series that was just released a few years ago and it was well received. The point is that Astroboy many not be huge in North America, but it doesn’t mean that no one cares. Let’s hope it’s good. It’ll be done by the same people who did the TMNT CG animated movie.

  10. while we’re at it, transformers sucked ass!! terrible terrible movie. i went into it thinking the worse we’d get is a michael bay big robot action movie. they managed to screw that up big time! the action was boring, and a robot with a million pieces spinning around is not transforming. i’ve seen tv commercials with transforming cars done way better than a $200 mil budgeted movie! total crappola.

  11. Lots of debating going on this thread. Just goes to show that inciting an anime backlash is like a shooting a fish taped to the front of a gun.

    I’ll probably see this just because I’m in that small demographic group of people who still love Astroboy. You’re right in the sense that it may fall into the same trap as Speed Racer because of it’s withering fanbase.

    Still not sure where you keep getting your numbers about Dragonball’s tiny fanbase, though. I’d sooner compare DB to Transformers than Speed Racer. Both have insanely massive cult fanbases completely devoted to a very violent kid’s show that would look awesome on the big screen if they edit most of the stupidity out of it and add tons of PG-13 collateral damage. DB even got greenlighted shortly after Transformers (and before anyone even saw footage from Speed Racer) so it’s a good guess as to which one they’ll be trying to rip off.

    These movies can still go either way, but if either Astroboy or Dragonball bombs, it’ll be of their own accord, and not just because they’re based on Japanese cartoons.

  12. I say give Astroboy a chance. I hope the production company looked at all the failed CGI movies and learned from their mistakes. I watched Astroboy when I was a kid. My six year old daughter will love this movie.

  13. actually john, i care :) i loved astro boy as a kid, and so do a lot of people i know and they’re not even geeks like us. a few of them are even women. so john, you’re telling me movies like alvin & the chipmunks, shrek 2 & 3, shark tale, madagascar, all did better than $100 mil because they had great stories and animation? it’s the medium john! igor was unlucky and had no marketing.

  14. Agree with you Monty.

    The target have to be the kids .
    but dont you agree with my thats when we put a already know characther on a new project (even when is an old property)and make a good product with it ,its easier to get good results?
    well..we will see.

  15. @ TKT

    While I don’t agree with John completely about comparing Astroboy with movies such as Speed Racer, Igor, or TMNT (since there were many different factors surrounding those individual movies that affected their boxoffice), I can’t really state how popular Astroboy was here in the states or how strong that fandom is today. Personally, I believe if Astroboy has any chance of being a solid boxoffice performer (which given its budget shouldn’t be too difficult), it needs to attract kids more so then the parents who may have been fans of the 60’s cartoon.

  16. As soon as the(SR) long trailers appeared in the net people complained about the visuals and the way they did the visuals for the races.
    those who are a little interested in the movie started to doubt its quality and those who arent started to badmouthing.
    I saw this in several blogs and as soon as people came back from the theaters after watching it ,things just got worst.
    Probably one of the main reasons of why the movie didnt gone well(a part for the visual mess).
    and the same goes for DRB again.

    “How quickly you forget that YOU are the one who suggested that because it is CGI, it will work (just go back and read your last comment). So yes, my comparison in that context is perfectly true”

    My reason to put the CGI in perspective is simple.
    The universe of astroboy would work a lot better with it.
    The fact IS that Igor was created just for the sake of that movie and astroboy is a already stabilished characther.

    What do you mean by “real scales”?

    And if take the TMNt movie fail, i think people wanted a diferent atmosphere from that movie and when they saw the same cartoonish “thing” again that ruined any chances of reviews from the old fans.
    That woudnt happen with astroboy since his universe is already setled for kids.

    And i know you are a busy dude right now but at least try to see the last season of astroboy (its a anime for childrens so dont expect much)but you (maybe)will see thats a lot more there then just “a robotic flying kid”

    cheers.

    AND I HOPE YOUR WRONG

  17. While there are never any guarantees with any property, here is something to note, the amount of hype around a kids movie is largely dictated by marketing, you get good marketing and hype the movie will do wel,l especially if it’s a soft market for kid movies and the movie is good, kids do not care what the source material is.

    And Imagi will see that Astroboy at least gets a fighting chance, unlike TMNT, which had crap support from Warner Bros.

  18. Hey TKT,

    You said:

    Speed racer failed when the wachowsky decided to make that visual mess of amovie. It had anithing to do with the material.
    That’s nonsense. People had no idea it was a “visual mess” until AFTER they paid for their tickets to go see it. No one on these boards, prior to Speed Racer opening, said they were going to avoid seeing it because it looked like it would be a visual mess. No one was interested in the first place. Those that went to go see it, like me, complained of it being a visual mess… but only AFTER paying to see it.

    You also said:

    Are comparing a not know characther with a well know characther here? igor x astro?
    How quickly you forget that YOU are the one who suggested that because it is CGI, it will work (just go back and read your last comment). So yes, my comparison in that context is perfectly true.

    The “material” is irrelevant in this discussion because if you read my post, I’m NOT saying Astro Boy will be a bad movie. I’m saying no one on any real scale cares about it and that it won’t attract an audience. It has no real drawing power and I believe it will bomb.

    I think Yamato rules… and that it would make a FANTASTIC movie. HOWEVER… I’ll also be the first to admit that it’s financial success would be in doubt for the very same reasons. Although it would have a better chance than Astro Boy because a movie about a giant flying space battle ship would appeal to more of an audience than a robotic flying boy.

  19. Speed racer failed when the wachowsky decided to make that visual mess of amovie.
    It had anithing to do with the material.

    Are comparing a not know characther with a well know characther here?
    igor x astro?

    Passed property ?
    last time it was transmited here in japan with a complete new animation was 2 years ago.
    and usa to.

    If you want me to say “it will do Pixxar kind of money results”,of course will not but straightway say its a fail is nonsense

  20. Hey TKT,

    So… once again are you going to try to refute any of my points?

    “THEY ARE INVESTING HEAVY IN THE MOVIE”
    Yeah, so did the Speed Racer people and look how that turned out

    “CGI IS A VERY GOOD WAY TO DO IT AND WILL BRING A LOT OF CHILDRENS AND NEW FANS TO THE MATERIAL”
    Wrong. The medium is never the final selling point. It didn’t work for Igor which was just released. If Asto Boy is hoping the medium is going to save it… they’re in for a rude awakening.

    “…BECAUSE YOU THINK IS PASSED PROPERTY…”
    No… it IS a past property. That’s just a fact that you can measure out by time. It’s not an opinion.

    So once again TKT, do you actually have anything to say to refute my points and arguements, or are you just going to cry and say crap like “yeah well you probably only like blah blah blah”. Are you going to try to debate the topic with me, or are you just going to try to talk about me?

  21. they are investing heavy in the movie .
    CGI is a very good way to do it and will bring a lot of childrens and new fans to the material.
    Astroboy have a wonderfull message and a very good history line.
    but because YOU think is passed property and you dont care is a automatic bomb?
    And no one is interested?
    yeah you like japanimation,probably the usuall yamato,gundam,techwars kind of line dont you?
    And YAMATO is wonderfull though.but you have a straight taste for techno fiction so i guess anithing out of this genre will fall fast out of your radar after some time.
    thats not the case for some people like me and others who still take OSAMU TESUKAs work as a very good read in the past and even today.

  22. I don’t know. I think the movie could do well if it’s marketed as a new animated film, and not as a nostalgia vehicle. Not heaploads of money, but somewhere around TMNT numbers.

  23. Hey TKT,

    Sorry, did you actually have anything to refute anything I said or points that I made… or were you just crying?

    And get your facts straight… I love a lot of japanimation properties, and I liked Astro Boy when I was younger. So clearly you don’t actually pay attention to anything I say… and you’re just here to cry.

  24. What i mean by misguided is you really don’t much about Dragonball like Dragonball is based on a comic book in the early 80’s, Dragonball Z is a sequel to Dragonball and it more then just throwing energy balls it has a story in fact they barly even throw energy balls because Goku is a low class Saiyan.

  25. Hey Broly,

    Nope, I’m 100% on the money. As to why I think that, I can’t go into it again… I’ve actually answered that question about 20 times already and I need to go to bed. Look up some of our other Dragonball posts that we’ve done to see what I’ve said there.

    Cheers.

  26. Hey Broly

    Several big factors:

    1) Major nostalgia factor. This movie was going to be a major hit long before the first day of shooting. Everyone was already interested in seeing it because it was The Transformers.

    2) Big summer visual effects spectacles tent pole projects are what summer films are all about.

    3) Giant Robots.

    4) The target demographic was clearly defined and sharply aimed at in the marketing

    5) A serious recognized named property.

    6) It was one hell of a fun movie

  27. Hey Broly

    But no one knew that before seeing the movie. And no one was interested. I guarantee you how good the animation was had VERY little to do with how much money KungFu Panda made.

    It was a more appealing premise to a targeted demographic of just kids. AND, it was a good movie. Ultimately, that’s what counts.

    Astro Boy will appeal to very few people. It seems to be confused about who it’s targeted at, and the producers seem to be drastically overestimating how much nostalgia people have for it.

    Just my opinion.

  28. I remember a few years back there was some attempt at an Astro Boy return, and nobody gave a shit. There was a new cartoon or something. I know there were heaps of crappy toys that never sold.

    What a waste of time and effort this movie will be.

  29. Hey Broly,

    Nope. I didn’t say anything like that about TMNT at all. Not even close. The whole issue of nostalgia and trackable interest in the project is stuff I never even touched with TMNT.

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