Imagine, if you will, someone remade a classic Looney Tunes cartoon where Elmer Fudd tries to hunt Bugs Bunny. But instead of just updating the animation, that someone used the cartoon as the basis for a sprawling epic that turned Elmer and Bugs’ face-off into a sprawling, tense game of cat-and-mouse, extrapolating depth, social commentary, and more — and imagine that reimagining absolutely ruled. That’s not quite Pluto, but it’s close.
Based on a storyline in the original Astro Boy, the beyond beloved and notably kid-friendly comic and cartoon from the legendary Osamu Tezuka, Pluto reframes “The Greatest Robot on Earth” to focus on a robot detective named Gesicht as he investigates the murder of humans and some the most powerful robots in the world. The main way Pluto differs from the Looney Tunes comparison above is that Tezuka, never one to shy away from tough subject material even if presented in a kid-digestible form, used the same basic plot, although the detective was a minor character and the day was saved, so to speak, by Astro Boy. But Pluto turns that into this:
(And yes, that is Astro Boy himself there at the end.)
Animated by StudioM2 and overseen by Tezuka’s son Macoto Tezka, Pluto is set to debut on Netflix later this year. The original manga won awards around the world — it really is something special. Hopefully, the anime will live up to the original’s legacy and the legacy of its inspiration.
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