NYCC: First look at Astro Boy, but not the butt cannons

The first footage of Imagi Animation Studio's upcoming 3-D computer-animated film Astro Boy screened at New York Comic Con over the weekend, and fans got a good look at the detailed designs for the film. Based on the beloved Japanese manga by Osamu Tezuka, the big-screen adaptation will be the origin story of the little robot boy with superpowers.

The Comic Con panel started off with a slideshow revealing the first Astro Boy concept design models, which detailed the character's arm cannons, the transformation of his legs into jet rockets and the all-important butt cannons. Yes, butt cannons.

More concept art depicted the overall look of Astro Boy's home, Metro City, and his robotic nemesis, the Peacekeeper. Looking a bit like the Iron Giant on 'roids, the Peacekeeper is actually a weapons robot that's gone "haywire." He's powered by "red-core" technology, suggested by blood-red eyes, which allows him to absorb and assimilate other weapons. One of the concept images shows him in an assimilation stage after he's absorbed some of Metro City: His robotic endoskeleton looks like it's made of skyscrapers.

About two minutes of the still-in-progress computer animation also screened. It showed Astro Boy first discovering his ability to fly. As he falls from the bright blue sky he stops himself from hitting the ground by accidentally triggering his rocket boots, crashing into the side of a building, regaining control, flying by Metro City citizens and racing through a tunnel filled with cars. Quickly able to control his navigation, and clearly tickled by his newfound powers, Astro Boy chases a train, outruns it and then speeds up into the atmosphere.

In a scene reminiscent of Richard Donner's Superman, Astro Boy then flies among puffy white clouds before diving into the depths of Metro City's mountain, pulverizing the rock out of his way until he comes out the other side. Triumphant, Astro Boy finally speaks: "So cool! I gotta show Dad!" Astro Boy is set to hit theaters on Oct. 23.

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