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Skyrocketing popularity
By Chen Nan (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-10-24 10:57

Skyrocketing popularity

Astro Boy has been a hit in China since appearing in Japanese comic world in 1951.

On Friday, the cartoon character staged his big screen debut, Astro Boy, that follows the exploits of the robot with incredible powers created in a futuristic world by scientist Dr Tenma.

Powered by super energy, Astro Boy has unlimited strength, x-ray vision, super speed and the ability to fly.

He sets off in search of acceptance and encounters many colorful characters along the way. During his adventures, he experiences human emotions and gains the strength to embrace his destiny.

He becomes a hero when he returns to his hometown Metro City to rescue the people he cares about.

First created by Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy's charisma and courage made him an instant icon. According to the storyline, the scientist built the android in the image of his deceased son.

Since then, he has appeared on TV animation series and products, such as clothing and toys. Freddie Highmore and Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage do the voices for Astro Boy and Dr Tenma.

As the first foreign cartoon imported by China, Astro Boy is popular among children and grown-ups throughout the country. In the new Astro Boy movie, also called Iron-Arm Atom in China, the robot has a new Chinese girlfriend. Mainland child star Xu Jiao (CJ 7) will voice as the little robot in the Chinese version.

Other films at cinemas include:

Stubborn Radish

An illegal fundraising case has led to the breakup of Luo's family. The mad scientist resorts to drastic measures to save his family, triggering a series of hilarious and ridiculous incidents.

Qiu Xi

Sun Zhou's latest spy flick takes place in Guangzhou before national liberation by the Communist Party in 1949.

Scandal Makers

This family comedy by Korean rookie filmmaker Kang Hyoung-chul reveals the hilarious trials and tribulations of Hyun-Su (Cha Tae-hyun), a former TV actor-turned-popular radio DJ.