Brace yourself for a totally new experience in cutting-edge animation. Based on the classic comic created by Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), written by Japanese anime legend Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and directed by Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999), Metropolis is a spectacular film featuring stunning imagery and unforgettable characters. In the industrial, tri-level world of Metropolis, Duke Red is a powerful leader with plans to unveil a highly advanced robot named Tima. But Duke Red's violent son Rock distrusts robots, and intends to find and destroy Tima. Lost in the confusing labyrinth beneath Metropolis, Tima is beginning a friendship with the young nephew of a Japanese detective. But when Duke Red separates the two innocents, Tima's life - and the fate of the universe - is dangerously at stake.
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The 3 1/4-inch "pocket DVD" includes production drawings, two scenes in various stages of production, and a short biography of Osamu Tezuka, the "god of manga," who was instrumental in creating both the animation and manga industries in Japan. The interesting but often frustrating making-of featurette focuses on director Rintaro, screenwriter Katsuhiro Otomo, voice actors Yuka Imoto (Tima) and Kei Kobayashi (Kenichi), and composer Toshiyuki Honda. Curiously, Rintaro and Otomo agree that Tezuka would never have given them permission to film this early manga; Rintaro adds that he fears being haunted by Tezuka's ghost. Honda explains why he needed to create a memorable theme song for the film, but not why he used a New Orleans jazz idiom. Although they include brief remarks from the computer graphics crew, the documentarians neglect the artists who designed the dazzling art deco skyscrapers that dominate the title city--and the film. --Charles Solomon
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