this is a very interesting review on Wired Magazine:
Yes. Unless of course you hate robots then maybe not. There is a lot to this story that will appeal to the entire audience and a good mix of side stories that appeal to kids or parents.
Will my kids like it?
Absolutely. I don’t believe there is a kid alive that won’t like this film. The story is exciting, full of suspense, and intrigue without being startling or too scary.
What’s the geek appeal?
Robots, super hero action, morality plays, and a good dose of advanced technology. Also, plenty of nostalgia for us older geeks and a chance to share some of our past in a form our kids will enjoy.
Who’s in it again?
Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson, and plenty more. The voice actors all fit the part, and did a great job. The animated characters in the movie all carried some likeness to their voice actors, except maybe Zog, he didn’t look much like Samuel L. Jackson.
Any memorable previews?
A couple that didn’t appear either memorable, or for kids. A very short teaser for “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” that might be good. “Old Dogs”: A comedy with Robin Williams and John Travolta that could be funny if they didn’t use up all the funny scenes in the trailer. “Spy Next Door”: Another comedy with Jackie Chan, Billy Ray, and George Lopez. This one looks like a cross between Spy Kids and Rush Hour.
Will kids want to see it again?
Yes, again, and again. Mine are both talking about catching it in the cheaper local theater in a couple weeks.
Does it ruin the original manga?
Not at all. Though I must admit I haven’t seen the original Japanese series (first aired in 1963), but I did thouroughly enjoy the US release in the 80s. A few plot points, like Toby’s death (and even his name) have been updated but overall it remains true to the original, and may even surpass it in some ways.
Is it a rip-off of the old Pinocchio story?
Certainly not. While some reviews have drawn that analogy, I think they are wrong. For starters, Astro is a lot more than a dim witted wooden doll that likes to lie. I’m also certain that Geppetto never dreamed of putting machine guns in any of his creations, let alone in their butt.
It’s PG, but how PG is it?
Not very. There is plenty of action, peril, and some mild language, but neither of my kids or their friend were scared by it. I don’t know if the creators pulled a few punches, but the darkest and most intense parts of the movie still remained optimistic and possibly a little predictable.
What’s the best time for a bathroom break?
There is really only one good time to take a break. Just past the half-way point when Astro Boy uses his blue energy for the first time. You have about 4-5 minutes before the action starts back up.