Saturday, November 07, 2009


So, Mommy convinced us all to go see Astro Boy for movie night, although not a one of us could remember ever having even seen the previews, let alone wanting to actually pay for and sit through two hours of other people's M&M-infused children on soda highs, rocking back and forth in their seats and kicking the back of mine, and who the hell is that at the end of the row who's actually snoring?!?!

But all that aside, it was surprisingly cute, in a weird sorta way. And I think I liked it, but I'm not really sure. Work through this with me.

It had all these grown-up allusions to Mad Max and Waterworld and Gladiator and even Terminator, if you can imagine. And it was mostly yet another story about haves and have-nots and Sneetches with Stars Upon Thars and silver-spooned sk8er runaways and the weird Pied Piper character who always appears to be verging on pedophilia.

But what ultimately shook me up was their casual smattering of a couple of really really -- did I say REALLY -- awkwardly uncomfortable moments after the main character actually, get this, D-I-E-S!! In a cartoon, for crissakes. He dies!!! But then it wasn't even really discussed or dealt with in any sort of productive or therapeutic way. No crying. No talking it out. No, nothing. One minute the kid was there banging on the glass yelling "Help me, Dad!!" And the next minute, he was gone. Boom! Blown to smithereens! And no, I don't technically know what a smithereen looks like, but I imagine it to be one of a bezillion tiny gut and bloody pieces of human flesh that really have no freaking business in a child's cartoon.

And as if that weren't enough, it's his jerk of a father's fault, to boot.

"But...but...but what happened to Tobi, Mom?" Chago whimpers.

And then from that point on ('cause that was like within the first 5 minutes!!), the story is just littered with this heart-heavy rejection theme, which became totally unbearable at times, what with both kids looking over at me with their puppy dog eyes and going, "But why doesn't his father want him, Mama?"

Geez Louise, man!!! It's a Friday afternoon. And I haven't even had a cocktail yet.

What I did find really interesting, though, was that there weren't any protestors and, as far as I'm aware, has been no controversy about the fact that the scientist father actually clones his son from a strand of hair after his death in order to replace him (ala Pet Sementary).

"Just like Dolly, huh, Mama?" Chago says.

Uh, yeah. Not really the reason I support stem cell research.

But in the end, they do wrap it up in a nice little bow. The boy grows up too fast, channels his abandonment and rejection issues into good instead of evil, finds "his place in this world," reunites the humans and robots, the cools and the nerds, *snap* *snap*, spirit fingers. Yada, yada, yada.

The father grows a pair and ultimately does the right thing, but the boy realizes he doesn't need him anymore and flies off to do his own thing.

In his underwear and red boots, no less. But that's a whole other posting.

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