Japan has named Astro Boy as its PR ambassador for the country’s campaign to host the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup. Japan announced the Bid Committee for their FIFA World Cup campaign on October 8 at a press conference at the Japan Soccer Museum in Tokyo. At the media event, Astro Boy was introduced as the PR ambassador, with the Bid Committee presenting a custom animation of Imagi’s Astro Boy character wearing a soccer uniform.
“Japan’s decision to name Astro Boy as its PR ambassador is further evidence that Astro Boy is a Japanese icon with worldwide appeal,” said Chiong Kit Phoon, executive deputy chairman of Imagi.
At a recent parents-and-kids screening of Astro Boy held in Tokyo, Japan, Astro Boy was rated an average of 99 points out of 100 by kids and 91 points out of 100 by adults. When parents were asked whether they would recommend the film for adults, all answered “yes.”
“We are very pleased with the screening survey results and consider them a further vote of confidence in Astro Boy and its wide-reaching appeal,” said Mr. Phoon. “We have always had some concerns that, as Astro Boy is such an iconic figure in Japan and so close to the hearts of the Japanese people, it may be difficult for them to immediately accept an adapted version of the character and storyline,” said Mr. Phoon. “We were very conscious of this and made every effort to retain the soul and essence of the original, while repackaging it for a global audience.”
“Only in Hong Kong, where movie making is a true representation of ‘east meets west,’ can Asian animators connect an iconic Japanese character, with the vision of a British director working in Hollywood to create such a sensitive interpretation. This skill will be very useful as we explore projects with PRC partners to present Chinese cultural icons in animation to the international market,” he said.