It takes a single element to make or break a feature; it could even be the main reason why a film is watchable, and that’s the case with Astro Kid.
Astro Kid follows 10-year-old Willy, who, separated from his parents after their spaceship had been destroyed, finds himself on an unknown planet. Willy has to survive on his own with the only help of survival robot, Buck. The pair’s only hope of survival is someone picking up their mayday signal, but that could take days, weeks, or even years.
The feature is originally a French production, which means that the international version is dubbed, and luckily, the dubbing is not as bad as most of its peers. However, the dubbing does mean that much of the humour is lost in translation, and even some meaning as well in more than one instance.
The plot itself is engaging and appealing to children of different ages, as it is supposedly a coming-of-age, even if it jumps to Willy’s adolescence, rather than take the audience through it. Stumbling in more than one, the pace of the plot is not the most captivating, but colourful animation and the characters are enough to pull the film through.
The film develops its characters throughout the film, making them multidimensional, and definitely helps the audience sympathise with them and care about what happens to them in the feature, even if they have too little (or nothing all) to say. When building the characters, the film focused on small, endearing details that made its characters lovable enough for the audience to care about them, even with the hindrance of the translated dubbing.
But the star of the film is its animation; so colourful, meticulous, and creative that both adults and kids alike will enjoy and marvel at it. The animators intricately drew a variety of creatures, plants, and different terrains, making the planet itself and its exploring worth making a movie about, regardless of Willy’s story.
It’s rare to say in a film review that the plotline could have taken its time to ripen, yet, nevertheless, Astro Kid is an enjoyable journey for both adults and kids.