What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this animated robot superhero adventure based on the 1960s anime series Astro Boy is age-appropriate for elementary-schoolers. It has fairly sophisticated themes (grief, loss, and war), as well as plenty of cartoon action violence -- including the death of a child, the destruction of several robots, explosions, and robots armed with heavy artillery. But language is limited to mild insults like "idiot," and there's no product placement to worry about. A war-obsessed military man is presented as a humorously negative character; on the opposite end of the political spectrum is a trio of revolutionary robots who call each other "comrade" and have a poster of Lenin in their meeting place.
- Families can talk about how Astro Boy compares to other superheroes. He's created as a robot with special powers, rather than born or accidentally transformed. How does Astro Boy accept (as Spider-Man says) that with great power comes great responsibility?
- Do you think the movie's more mature themes will resonate with kids? What other movies touch on issues related to technology, pollution, war, and the like? Is this appropriate material for a kids' movie?
- How is Toby's death handled? Many children's movies feature the death of a parent, but it's rare for the death of a child to be included. Kids: Would you have preferred for Toby to be transformed into Astro Boy rather than die?