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CGIFeature Film

Astro Boy teaser trailer

This teaser trailer for Imagi’s Astro Boy is attached to today’s release of Twilight. I love Tezuka’s original manga and TV series – and I really want to like this feature. I hope they can pull it off.

How does it look to you?

  • Aleksandar Vujovic

    Well the trailer gets ME excited… least a bit.

  • SlappyHappy

    It looks true to the original, but still takes advantage of “updating” designs… the fact that the trailer slathers us with “big name” celebrity voice talent at the end already gives me doubts though….

  • It’s got potential. TMNT was pretty great for the eyes – Imagi’s got a great visual style that’s rather distinct from the more prominent studios producing feature films. What little character designs we see in the trailer are rather faithful to the originals too, which is always a plus.

    …the stunt casting kinda rubs me the wrong way however.

    I think we need to see more. I honestly don’t know if the collective masses of non-animation/anime/manga viewers out there will see this as a legit form of entertainment, or push it aside like they have all other Astroboy content that’s been released recently…

  • s

    Actually I don’t like Astro Boy and this CG movie sucks, despite I know there’s the hard work of thousands of qualified and good people behind it that I esteem very much!
    But I don’t like it :)

  • Gobo

    “this CG movie sucks”

    Have you seen the film yet, “s”? Or just the trailer?

    I’m willing to give it a shot. Looks like Iron Man Jr., and Astro Boy himself translates a lot better to 3D than I expected.

  • I liked it more than I thought I would have. There’s very little here of course. The feel of the action seemed very Astro Boy to me and if I blurred my eyes a bit, it all looked Astro Boy too.

    I do wish they had taken more from the original face designs and not updated them to the very familiar CG human look that we see everywhere. Not because I’m a huge Astro Boy purist, but because the designs are iconic and really stand out and I would feel they’ve lost a strength here. And there are people who will be purists and I’d say why piss them off? After all, Astro Boy fans are a ready-made audience.

    I’m interested to see more.

  • Petro1986

    There was only 19 seconds of actual animation in that teaser. When he was flying around he looked like Iron Man in a light blue shirt.

    I’m hope that the story is good, but I think a 2.5d approach would have been more kick ass, but what do I know? just me thinking it would have been cool xD

  • I don’t know much about Astroboy but the designs really seem pretty similar to those in the manga (I have seen the drawings in the comic book store). It seems it could be an entertaining movie, the animation does look pretty decent and the subject is quite new.

  • Ian

    This looks somewhat promising, the designs do look fairly true to source, but the only one on that voice list that I could see doing a cartoon is Nathan Lane, Cage has a distinct voice but it’s a very depressing one. I’ll remain hopeful for now.

  • What’s going to get more attention? The fact that its Astro Boy, or the big name cast given at the end of the trailer?
    Only time will tell what this turns out to be.

  • Action, movement and special effects looks okay to me, but the characters looks baaaaad!!!
    I don’t know that it was the plan to change the designs(looks like a american style Astro Boy), but it doesn’t have the unique, cute and appealing style of Tezukas work!
    And why does they have to do all the new “cartoon” movies in 3D? That makes me hating CG even more!XP

  • joecab

    I’ll see it of course — nostaligia is a powerful force. And YAY Dr. Elefun kept his name. Nathan Lane will be interesting as the carnival owner.

  • Wait… wasn’t this supposed to be a combo of live action and CGI? Or am I thinking of something else?

  • I’m really fan of the work of tezuka, but really, i don’t think another aptation of astro-boy will bring something new to this monument (wich was allready adapted many times)… except a lot of profit ($).

    The trailler don’t show many things -except a very irritating “we got action” music-, but i have a question :

    Why did someone want to make astro-boy move AGAIN ? There’s is a lot of other stories, there’s many scenarist, and enought books to read an entire life, so why don’t they let atro boy sleep peacefully and pick another project, if it wasn’t for money ?

    Don’t misunderstand me, i don’t say : “Hoooo ! making money with a film is bad !!” but here, it seem to be the only motivation. So i fear that all we will see is this film is MONEY :
    -Well-done-clean animation with the best animator ever engaged,
    -Beautiful effects of the last 3D materials,
    -Voïces of famous peoples to bring the audience,
    -Designs that try to follow the original enought to caught the fans,

    Plus, i find this 3d rendering… kind of ugly, considering that it’s beginning to be “the norm” in a feature film.

    So i didn’t expect much from this film, except deception.

    (soory for the poor english -_- )

  • Yowch. That face is…wrong. It’s like the clash of North American and Anime style conventions made flesh…polygonally, at any rate. Trailer looks cool, but I’m gettin’ that ol’ ‘Speed Racer’ feeling.

  • I hate to bring this up, but fellow animator Eric just made a comment that will forevermore make Astro just a lil’ skeevy in my mind. Is it just me (and Eric) or does Astro really, REALLY look like a six-year old boy flying around in his Underroos?

  • It looks kind of fun. We also have to remember that Tezuka’s comics spanned an incredible variety of depth, for a readership that was increasingly diverse… if the character designs look too much of a mish-mash or adaptation of multiple styles in order to sell the film to a wider variety of moviegoers, then that’s perhaps the truest nature of ASTROBOY of all.

    Tezuka changed the visual aesthete of his comics on several occasions in order to accommodate the changing tastes of manga readers for the many decades he drew. Some years, Atom would be short and cutesy, while other years he would appear slightly older, more of an early teen, who had more confident struggles in deciphering good/evil.

    It’s undoubtedly true that Tezuka was a master of creative experimentation, but it is also true that he felt that the more readers he had the better… and he would do almost anything in order to keep those readers from peering over to another paperback on the rack.

  • Laffin Lapin

    I agree wholeheartedly with Pr.M – it’s not that this trailer looks bad as such (although the character models do look off a bit) but there doesn’t really seem to be a great point to bringing to the big screen again. A feature length animated Dororo or Black Jack would be really nice, as would any number of Tezuka’s other works (esp the more mature ones, like Apollo’s Song).

    And I’m getting tired, tired, tired of everything having to be 3d – use computers, whatever – 2d animation has always looked better and been more creative than 3d has.

  • Ridgecity

    That frame you put on top makes it look very different from what the trailer showed. Frame by frame you can get ready weird stuff.

    As a fan of Astroboy for 30 years, I’m happy they are making this movie, and Sony/Columbia is paying for it, IMAGI was hired to make it. Attaching big names to the voices makes it get screens across theaters and it’s been happening for a long time, I’m surprised you guys are seeing animation films without famous voices.

    In the case of design, 3d animation allows for only so much of stylized designs without looking weird. Most people see CGI as “real world” and expects that, look at Pixar and their semi-cartoony faces with wrinkles and most human characteristics while moving. And here we are talking with the most stylized human characters of all time, japanese anime.


    “Is it just me (and Eric) or does Astro really, REALLY look like a six-year old boy flying around in his Underroos?”

    Probably since during the 40s,50s,60s and 70s most superheroes enjoyed saving the world in their underwear, probably to break that thing about “Big muscles means little thingies” idea.

  • This wasn’t what I expected. Not sure if that’s good or bad. Just different. That color palette is interesting for lack of a better word.

    However, I’m not that familiar with Astro Boy, so I can’t speak of how true it is to the original.

    I’m interested to see more. And, I guess that is the point of a teaser.

  • AutisticAnimator

    Tezuka’s other popular works such as Black Jack are only now being ported to America, but AWN lists a lot of studio’s plan’s to recreate a lot of other already famus mangas/animes like Akira and Battle Royale, which too have a “redymade audience,” per se.

  • Would’ve been nice to come up with something new to strut their animation talents on instead of translating Astro-Boy. I always liked the way his head design made no sense but was fun regardless. CG forces it to conform to reality. . .

  • J. J. Hunsecker

    The proportions of the Astro Boy design have been changed for the CGI movie. The CGI crew made them more even and bland. The original Tezuka character had bigger eyes, and a larger cranium in comparison to his jaw. The animation looks good, though.

  • acetate

    To pick up on what Rick said, the colors are what bother me here. Too pastel. Almost girly. I realize they wouldn’t do it Black and white but thats what I’m used to with Astro Boy. Needs a more “graphic” feel IMHO.

  • J-J

    I agree with Pr. M about the rendering. Plus, the designs could be a bit better but the trailer was a little too short to be able to judge. I hope it turns out well.

  • Iain

    Well, the film itself looks cool, but the teaser sucks.

  • i just hope he can still shoot lasers out of his butt.

  • Leedar

    While Japanese CG animation isn’t particularly renowned, they would have inevitably made a more faithful production. I don’t think Astroboy is any good filtered through American animation conventions.

  • Gerard de Souza

    Can’t really predict either way. Am not a huge fan but own a couple compilations and cartoons of Astro Boy and enjoyed what I have read and seen. THe designs are nice in this although I don’t know why they couldn’t go all the way cartoony as the Tezuka designs.
    I remember seeing the first B&W Astro cartoon on tape and thinking how whimsical the story was; like a futuristic Pinnochio. I always thought the origin and first adventure of that episode could be expanded to a feature.

  • They flipped his “hair” points to get the best design for different camera angles like his 2D predecessor. That’s cool- maybe the filmmakers here do want to honour The Mighty Atom’s long history…

    I’m looking forward to this.

  • Mitch Kennedy

    It could be really neat. There’s not enough here to tell, though. What I don’t like is his design — the proportions in the face are no fun at all!! =(

  • The designs look terrible.

  • Sam Filstrup

    I know very little of Astro Boy other then that he’s basically the archetype that was used for Mega Man. However I was pleased with the superb animation in TMNT and even with the Star Power casting which puts me off I’ll still see this. The big name actors is likely meant to help boost it’s awareness besides animation and manga fans he’s not that well known in the states I imagine.

  • Rafael

    I’m only slightly familiar with the original series, but I think this movie has the potential to pull some heart strings. Just go to the wikipedia article and you learn that “Astro” is robot boy created with emotions and in the image of his creator’s dead son. Later he is abandoned when his creator realizes that Astro cannot replace his own lost boy. Wow.

    I’d put that premise up against anything Dysney/Pixar can do.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Hmmm… The trailers don’t work for me. Anywhere else showing this?

  • Looks just o.k. Imagi did the TMNT flick which I thought was a blast.

  • I’m sure it wouldn’t take a whole lot of work to get a decent enough story out of it, but the animation and designs look like garbage. Why couldn’t they roll with a big budget version of the most recent “Astroboy” show, inspired as that was by Tezuka’s “Metropolis”? Oh right… bad CGI is more salable than good anime…

  • It looks cool but I preferred it comes out a little bit japanese more.
    How many japanese artists are ivolved into?

  • Cyber Fox

    It looks cool, I’m so looking forward to this film
    It might be the “Superman” of the 21st Century
    and by that i meant the original film (Nuclear Man can go screw himself)

  • Jason

    Well, I AM a fan of Tezuka’s “Astro Boy” manga – the man was a SUPERB artist and conceptualist – and I love this trailer! Much better than I even hoped for! Congrats to Imagi and I can’t wait to see this movie.

  • Ugh. I never thought that Tezuka’s designs could be made unappealing, but this just proved me wrong.

  • PJ

    I think this looks pretty good, myself. I mean, there’s not a lot to judge by in that trailer, but it was a damn fun trailer to watch. I’m not a particularly big Astro Boy fan, but this teaser sure got me excited for the film.

    And I dunno, this image makes me feel like they’re not straying too far from Astro’s original design:

    I enjoyed IMAGI’s TMNT, too. It wasn’t a monumentally good film, but it was fun as hell, so I’m hoping for the same with Astro Boy.

  • I don’t understand why they felt the need to make the designs for Tenma and Elefun so “realistic”. The designs from the comics seem like they’d work really well in 3D without the need for such sacrifices. But this is just a teaser afterall so hopefully the final designs will look less weird.

  • Anna

    I’m not feeling this one

    The machinery and those electrical lightning bolts look cool! but the actual characters look generic~CG boring! Did they really need to up the realism? Was the original style not good enuff for them?

  • Goldenrusset

    why does 3d always bloody look the same! the same bad attempt at photo-realism with no style. why is realistic so popular? this looks nothing like astroboy at all! it just looks like a cheap rippoff changed just enough to avoid a lawsuit. Tezuka’s original designs were perfect. no need to update. just make it 3d with good textures and lighting and your done! STOP OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING! people will like it. have faith in design! BLAND BLAND BLAND! that seems to be the theme of every project with money. i wish they would have hired Gibli or Gainax to do it. then there would have been at least a smidgen of love and respect for fans. and i’m really only talking about design at this point… the animation and boarding looks good…though it is only a teaser. time will tell.

    oh and what animated movie ever did well because of the names behind the voices. i want to hear a voice that works for the character. not every celebrity has a distinct voice, and if their voice is interchangeable with any average person… then they just wasted a ton of money they could have put into a more essential part of production… like story.

  • Stephen

    Hmmm…Astro Boy looks more like his older, more plastic brother Bob’s Big Boy.

  • DeAngelo M. Guillory

    i wish they would have hired Gibli or Gainax to do it. then there would have been at least a smidgen of love and respect for fans.

    Ghibli would NEVER do it since it’s a proprietary studio. You can’t just go up to them and ask “Hey would you adapt my TV series into a movie?” Just trying to say that even if Tezuka Productions begged on their knees, I’m sure they’d be refused in such a theoretical case.

    It’s really no big loss, after all anime feature films seem to have good enough animation on their own. Hell even OLM handles the Pokemon movies with unexpectedly fluid animation as does Tokyo Movie Shinsha with the Lupin specials.

    Gainax. Oh I love it when people look at FLCL or Wings of Honneamise and cream their pants as though that studio alone should bear the cross of Japanese animation on TV despite the fact that those two mentioned are an OVA AND A MOVIE! The budget is spread differently for a reason. Anyway, Metropolis was handled by Madhouse which is another studio that people fawn over that’s practically a spiritual “brother” studio to Gainax. Not sure if they’re up for another project though, but I’m sure neither party would mind.

    In essence, I’m just trying to say that it wouldn’t REALLY matter much who gets to work the 2D Astro Boy feature that could have been. As long as Tezuka Pro’s in charge, they’ll make a quality conscious decision on who works on whether or not fans have a hard-on for the animation studio’s name.

    and i’m really only talking about design at this point…
    Character designs in the Japanese animation industry are not exclusive to a studio. Just because Toei worked on Sailor Moon and One Piece does not mean that the off-chance they’ll work on Astro Boy would not yield similar character designs.

    It’s likely individuals who will be scouted or hired based on their track record and maybe how close they can match Tezuka’s style. Personally, as long as that person follows the original manga or possibly the anime adaptions (that are NOT the 2003 rendition) of “Astro Boy” I’d have no doubts.

  • Surrealist

    It’s one of those things that begs the question~

    “Will it live up to the hype?”

    The trailer blew me away, to be honest. Superb mix of music and action shots. It’s great when they mix up peaks in the music with dynamic, energetic bursts from the animation.

    People go through a lot of work to make these movies, give the guys some credit instead of acting like you think that your degrading opinion means anything.

    I’ve been a fan of Astroboy and have always wondered how it would look as a more polished show. Maybe bring in some more modern 2D animators, hell I even wondered how it would look in CG. Today I’ve realized this dream and I can’t wait to see this come true.

    Everyone thinks that you give them a teaser trailer, they become a seasoned critic. To hell with them

    Bother with their ‘CG sucks’ and ‘Astroboy is stupid’ comments, cause they mean nothing to those who are willing to watch the movie out of the shere thrill and enjoyment they get when watching fanatsy movies like these.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I too have my doubts. Especially after seeing the Speed Racer trailer for the first time for example. Though when I saw the movie, I was blown away with how great they approached and delivered that movie. Almost flawless.

    The same goes for the DragonballZ movie. I was pumped when I heard about it a few years ago, then when I saw trailers and official releases on cast and whatnot… I was devastated -BUT- I’m still going to go see it because I’ve been proven wrong countless times.

    Give the movie a chance and if you don’t like it, then AT LEAST you can say “I saw it” without having to look like a bumbling idiot who’s speaking out where the sun doesn’t shine.

  • Mike Tiefenbacher

    Whether you like the redesigned characters or not–and I’m no fan of anime or its idiosyncratic conventions–there’s a very simple reason for the changes. You may have noticed that since BATMAN (1989), every DC and Marvel super-hero movie or cartoon (as well as the likes of Casper) have redesigned perfectly good costumes, and the reason is simple: licensing. In order to ensure that the movie-makers can tell which toys, videogames, Halloween costumes and sippy cups they deserve a piece of, there must be some easy means to tell the movie-based products from the already existent stuff. Which means fan expectations are the last thing the producers care about. I’d say we’re lucky that we can even recognize that it’s Astro Boy at all. (Have you seen the Miller Spirit yet?)

    As for being faithful to Tezuka, well, it is called “Astro Boy” and not “Mighty Atom,” after all, so it’s already more American than Japanese. And it’s going to take a studio far braver than Sony-Imagi to eschew 3-D animation in favor of 2-D for anything that isn’t direct to video. I’m guessing that will be Disney-Pixar, ironically enough.