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Astro Kid


Stars: Voices: Landon Beatie, Jason Canning, Laura Post, Keith Silverstein, Susan Myers

Director: Eric Tosti

A French cartoon feature for younger children. Ten-year-old Willy (Beatie), on a fact-finding space mission with his parents (Post, Silverstein), is accidentally ejected from the mother ship in a space pod when the ship is battered by an asteroid storm.

With the help of the pod's robot, Buck (Canning), he lands safely on a gaily-coloured, almost psychedelic planet full of weird and wonderful creatures, whose only enemies seem to be rock monsters. The illustrators' imagination runs riot with these creatures, one of whom attaches itself to Willy like a faithful dog, somewhat to the disapproval of Buck.

While the 'dog' grows and grows, Willy and Buck explore the planet and meet some unexpected hazards, one of which is a storm of massive hailstones that forces the robot to raise a protective shield which exhausts his battery.

Ten months later, Willy has turned into a sort of jungle boy, determined to find the spare battery left back at the remains of the pod. With the help of some new-found friends, he hopes to run a gauntlet of rock monsters.

It's all a bit samey, with lulls that will see a few fidgety small bottoms. But it does pass the time pleasantly enough and some of the planet's many-legged creatures are amusing. The start of the film is bright, too, and does get you watching. Parents will find it quite acceptable with just a few yawns here and there. The 'PG' seems harsh.

David Quinlan

France 2019. UK Distributor: Signature. Colour by Eclair.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 18 Aug 2019