October 17, 2009

Freddie Highmore is Anime Sensation, Astro Boy

Thumb Do you love anime and manga? Well, the character who started it all in Japan, the very first anime character ever, Astro Boy, is coming to theaters in the United States. Astro Boy first appeared as a comic (manga) in a Japanese magazine in 1951. Later, starting in 1963, he became an anime sensation in an animated TV series in Japan.

So what is the new movie about? Astro Boy’s Japanese name is Tetsuwan Atomu, meaning Mighty Atom. Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist named Dr. Tenma. He is endowed with super strength, x-ray vision, unbelievable speed and the ability to fly, but he also has a heart. When he learns that his friends and family are in danger, Astro Boy marshals his awesome super powers in a valiant effort to save them.

Freddie Highmore is the voice of Astro Boy in the new movie, and he answered some of our questions about it.

Q: What was it like playing an animated character versus a human character?
Freddie:
Well, it was something different. People often think it’s a bit easier to do a voice, but I think it can be a bit harder. I mean my experience is you’ve still got to be committed to the role. In Astro Boy there’s so many moments where he’s upset or in the middle of a big battle and I think you’ve really got to be there, whether it means crying in the middle of the scene when people say, “Oh just use your voice.” Or running up and down on the spot to get out of breath and sound authentic. I think you’ve got to do that and not be self conscious at all. So in that way it can be harder. And also that you’re not with the person that you’re supposed to be doing the scene with. David’s been fantastic in that way explaining to us what the other person’s done and what we can do to make it fit in, but it’s never the same thing.

Small_hands Q: Are there similar characteristics or different characteristics between you and Astro Boy other than that he’s a robot?
Freddie:
I think that everyone has something in common with Astro Boy in that we’ve all got something different about us that makes us stand out for certain reasons. And Astro Boy is a human in a robot’s body. So I guess I can identify with him in that way and everyone else in the world can. We’ve all got a different characteristic, be it a good thing or a bad thing, that makes us different from everyone else. And like Astro Boy we all want to be accepted into society, into a group of friends, into a family. Just another normal person. He wants to be accepted right from the moment his dad says, “I don’t want you any more. You’re a robot and you can’t replace my son.”

Q: What was the coolest part about working on this film?
Freddie:
I think it was fantastic being able to get to see it right from the beginning to the end. I also think it’s very cool to play a superhero and to have such a fantastic role in the film, but what made it really exciting was having been to Japan to do promotional shoots and seeing Astro Boy stores that they have there and the murals dedicated to him. I mean he is Japan’s Mickey Mouse. The exciting thing was to be able to try and bring the excitement generated there to the rest of the world.

Small_flyQ: If you had a personal robot, what would you get it to do for you?
Freddie:
I think being able to transport me at an incredible quick pace anywhere in the world would be fantastic. I could be in London through the help of my London, travel over to Los Angeles in a couple of seconds. That would be fantastic. And it would be incredibly easy to keep up with friends that way all around the world.

— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

Interview by Marie Morreale
Images Courtesy of Summit Entertainment, © 2009 Imagi Crystal Limited/Original Manga © Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd.

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  1. bewitch

    i think this is pretty coooooooooool movie. i am waiting to watch this movie and it will definitely mega blaster
    source

    Reply
  2. ninjer16

    This movie looks awesome and I can’t wait to see it. But there’s one thing that has almost nothing to do with it except for the connection in between TV and MOVIES. My dad has this awesome TV that he worked for, for 5 years! Well we’ve had it about 6 months and my dad saw this little scratch thing, right? So he get’s this Monster ScreenClean and wahes it off. then he starts going down the whole screen and halfway through he notices these purple streaks on our precious $10,000 dollar screen that they don’t even make any more, soo it’s worth even more. He looks it up on the internet and finds that that cleaner and screen don’t go good together. Plus, the store he bought it from said they would! So he hurries and buys some distilled water and some more microfiber rags and scrubs those streaks off. Then he looks at the difference from the top half and the bottom half of the screen and finds that the top half’s coating is gone. So what should I do? If it were up to me I would sue the store for telling us that it would work, but they’re closed on Sundays so, have any idea on how to fix this TV? just post another comment on the Astro Boy thing and I’ll get back to you. Please help! Thanks! :P

    Reply
  3. milliongirl

    cool.I want to see it .
    I also want to say everyone Im new to the stacks. I am also looking for friends to put on my profile page as friends im nice and i dont start mess

    Reply
  4. cc3134

    i think this will be an awesome movie because it looks very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very COOL

    Reply