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Astro Boy – The Complete Series (A PopEntertainment.com TV on DVD Review)


Astro Boy – The Complete Series


Astro Boy – The Complete Series (Sony Home Video-2005)

Growing up in the sixties, I remember rushing home after school to catch all my favorite shows on local Philly UHF TV stations; Channels 48, 29 and 17. The reception was always a bit fuzzy, the commercials wereatrociously cheap and tacky, but the warm and cozy memories of those cherished shows remains hardwired into my memory. In that dinosaur age preceding the explosion of the Internet, cable TV, home videos, DVDs and video games, kiddies, there were only (gasp!) several channels of programming to maintain the attention of the 6-12 crowed . More often than not, those beloved shows of old would be immaculately crafted Japanese creations like Ultraman, Tobor The Eighth Man, Gigantor and Prince Planet. One of those not to miss shows for us media-starved Baby Boomers was Astro Boy.

More than forty years since this show’s original broadcast on American shores, Astro Boy – The Complete Series (Sony) has just been made available as a definitive 5-DVD set. The show’s premise was simple, centering upon a lovable atomic-powered robot boy, who like the formerly retired super heroes in The Incredibles, takes his task of saving the world from the bad guys more as a moral obligation than an adrenalin-charged mission. He’s an equal opportunity superhero keeping humans and robots safe from the nefarious and dastardly deeds of the underworld.

Created by Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy started life in Japan as a comic strip in the fifties. Known in the Orient as Tesuwan AtomAstro Boy  remains a brilliantly animated and scripted assemblage of retro-jet age fun. Watching it once again for the first time in several decades one is impressed by the stunning quality of all the components; script, visuals and storyline.  Each episode finds our hero in a deadly mess that only he can find a way out. It’s pure, innocent fun for the young and old. The animation is especially thrilling. Today’s cutting-edge, modern technology now allows the rich and robust colors of this seminal anime creation to deliver a spectacular visual and visceral feast.

A little trivia: Billie Lu Watts, the actress who voiced the Astrogirl character also was the voice the title character of yet another fondly remembered animated show from the Sixties, Kimba The White Lion.

Mastered in high definition, the DVD set contains the complete 50-epsiode series, and for the die-hard, includes a whopping 29 episodes that have never been seen Stateside. Along included on this collector’s edition is a special featurette chronicling “The Making Of Astro Boy.”

Ken Sharp

Copyright ©2005   PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved. Posted: March 29, 2005.

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