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Astro Boy (Fuji, 1963)

Originally a Japanese TV series, Astro Boy premiered New Year’s Day 1963 and was the first anime series to be broadcast overseas. It was remade in the 1980s as Shin Tetsuwan Atomu (Astroboy to the rest of us) and again remade in 2003. The original series lasted for four seasons, until December 31, 1966 for a total of 193 episodes.

For the English adaptation, NBC Enterprises settled on “Astro Boy” and adapted 104 of the episodes. NBC syndicated the series from September 1963 through August 1965. The “cartoon” series was taken out of syndication in the 70s.

As a testament to the series, an Astro Boy feature film (loosely based on the anime series) hit international theatres in October 2009, taking in a total of $20 million. Though not a big hit in either native Japan nor the U.S., China saw it break a box office record for a CGI animated film.

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