Astro Boy Gets 2D/CG TV Series Reboot & Edutainment Shorts
posted on by Sarah Nelkin
Entertainment trade news source Variety reported on Wednesday that Japan's Tezuka Productions, France's Caribara Animation, and Monaco's Shibuya Productions are creating a new animated television series of Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom). Osamu Tezuka's iconic robot boy is inspiring 26 planned half-hour episodes. The series, animated with both 2D and CG techniques, was first announced at the Annecy Festival's International Animation Film Market on Wednesday.
The show will target children from eight to twelve years of age, and Shibuya Productions founder Cedric Biscay notes that the producers have the right to create a brand new story, as Tezuka Productions owns the intellectual property to the franchise. A teaser for the show is scheduled to premiere in September.
Tezuka Productions and YTV are also developing a separate Little Astro Boy series of five-to-seven minute "edutainment" shorts. These shorts are targeted at three- to five-year-old children.
This is not the first time that Osamu Tezuka's 1952-1968 manga inspired overseas works. Hong Kong animation studio IMAGI produced the computer-animated film version of Astro Boy with distributor Summit Entertainment in 2009. A joint production between Tezuka Productions and Nigerian television station Chanel TV created a television animation project (pictured left) earlier this year. Back in Japan, the manga inspired the country's first full-fledged half-hour television anime series in 1963, followed by a color television series in 1980 and a remake in 2003.