Five-year-olds who attend MoveOn.org rallies in between tee-ball and bath time are sure to love the new David Bowers–directed interpretation of Osamu Tezuka’s flagship character. If he or she is more the tea-party variety of grade-schooler, though, this shameless slap at the Bush administration is sure to aggravate.
Like America, Metro City is a dysfunctional utopia run by tyrants whose short-sighted greed has put the world in jeopardy. So Astro Boy (Freddie Highmore) — a part–Marty McFly, part–Luke Skywalker, part-Gandhi robotic super kid — assumes the burden of healing his planet and uniting haves with have-nots, like a miniature flying socialist.
Wear a helmet — the transparent partisan politics rain down harder than the meatballs in that other animated work of liberal propaganda. Serious Tezuka fans will likely appreciate the sharp multi-dimensional presentation, even as they resent Osamu’s being pimped out for Obama.