Based on a vintage Japanese cartoon and manga series, Astro Boy arrives with more charm and care than one would expect for yet another pop-culture regurgitation. The plot is typical human vs. machine stuff, or, specifically, boy robot vs. fucking huge, power-mad despot robot, but it doesn’t pander, bore or bullshit. There are no hollow morals, or confusing or questionable motives for the characters. The plot is multifaceted and difficult to sum up simply: A gifted, humanoid robot among disposable slave robots for humans, Astro Boy must overcome human prejudice and hubris as he fights a deranged general, bent on harnessing the robots’ more destructive tendencies. Astro Boy is a more thoughtful film than most for the kids.