|“||Doctor, in any conflict between positive and negative energy, the negative always prevails! Look at human history! Look at me!||„|
|~ President Stone describing his view on good and evil to Dr. Tenma.|
President Stone (also simply known as Stone) is the main antagonist of the 2009 science fiction film Astro Boy.
He was voiced by Donald Sutherland, who also played President Coriolanus Snow in the The Hunger Games franchise, and Donald McClintock in Outbreak. In the videogame adaptation of the film, he was voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
Stone is known for being arrogant, xenophobic, power-hungry, and overall villainous in nature. He is a selfish, deceiving, manipulative, and pompous individual who only cares about himself and being reelected as President of Metro City. He appeared to be disgusted with Dr. Elefun's idea in using Blue Core energy to restore the surface, though this only due to him prefer his people to lived in Metro City than anywhere else and personal disdain with Surface Dwellers. He is also shown to be very rash and thoughtless (not thinking things through) such as when he placed the Red Core into the Peacekeeper twice, which resulted in Toby's death in first and last, the former absorbing him and exposing his malevolent and cruel side.
While seemingly appealing and charismatic, this hardly veils his cruelty and lack of empathy or remorse or even mercy, as shown where he was unsympathetic to Dr. Tenma over the incident that killed Toby that he started (even implied to give the mourning scientist cold shoulder), attempted to destroy Astro (the robotic clone of the boy that he accidentally killed) just for acquiring the Blue Core inside him, reveal his plans to wage war against Surface Dwellers just to boost up his popularity, and also implied in his disgust on Dr. Elefun's idea for using Blue Core for sake of everyone whom lived in the surface.
Thought most of these negative side remained less exposed, this was ultimately revealed after Stone merges with both the Red Core and the Peacekeeper, where he attempt to kill Astro's friends as he fight the robot boy and also causing Metro City to crash.
Plans for Re-election
Throughout the film, Stone is shown to be concerned with only one thing: to win the upcoming Presidential Election. He is even willing to wage a war against the Surface Dwellers to boost his popularity.
Toby's Death and Astro's Birth
During a demonstration of the peacekeeper, a new robot designed to protect Metro City, Stone becomes intrigued by the space components, the Blue and Red Energy Cores. He shows a degree of disgust with Elefun's idea in restoring the surface world as he only prefer life of those in Metro City. He demands the Red Core (the negative one) be placed in the Peacekeeper for the demonstration, which inadvertently results in the death of Toby Tenma.
Following Toby's death, Stone believes that the Cores were destroyed while he himself giving cold shoulder over consequence of actions (or at least that was seemed). However, one night he discovers that Tenma made an AI robot replacement of Toby, powered by the Blue Core. After a lengthy battle, the new Toby (later renamed "Astro") is ejected from the floating Metro City down to the Surface.
After this, Stone goes to Tenma's home and demands his guards arrest Tenma and his assistant Dr. Elefun for creating Astro and hiding the Core's existence from him. However, Tenma promises to give the Core to Stone after he retrieves Astro.
Later in the film, Stone arrives in his shuttle at the Robot Fighting Ring run by Hamegg, where he and his troops capture Astro. On the way back to Metro City, Stone mockingly offer Astro a "drink" of motor oil and brags of his plans to use the Peacekeeper to wage a war against the Surface to win the Election.
Tenma's Betrayal and Merging with the Peacekeeper
Astro agrees to be shut down, apologizing to Tenma. However, Tenma, realizing that Astro is still his son, reactivates him, allowing him to escape. Enraged, Stone orders Tenma and Elefun arrested and shot for treason before loading the Red Core into the Peacekeeper, reactivating it. However, the Peacekeeper absorbs Stone, allowing Stone to take control of the Peacekeeper’s body and releases his true, diabolical self. Stone proceeded to rampage through the city, growing in size, as he absorbed weapons and entire buildings to lure Astro out. Astro was prompted to engage Stone in battle upon sees his rampage.
Battle and Defeat
In the battle that ensued, Stone was briefly able to detain Astro and attempted to absorb him, but the resulting merging causes both of them agony. Tenma explains to Astro that the merging of the two Cores would destroy both of them. Stone captures Astro's friends and threatens to kill them, but Astro flies towards him. Stone prepares for battle, but realizes that Astro intends to sacrifice himself by merging with the Red Core. Before Stone can stop him, Astro flies into the Red Core, destroying the Peacekeeper and seemingly himself in the process.
Stone survived the battle, though he was returned to his human form. Soon afterwards, he was arrested for his crimes.
|“||No darn dirty hippie's gonna sit in my Oval Office eating mung beans and stinking of patchouli oil. I've got the Blue Core, my Peacekeeper's going to start a war with the surface. It's bound to get me reelected!||„|
|~ Stone to Astro.|
|“||How can my approval ratings be this low? I was very popular in high school, I've cut taxes for some very influential friends. What more do people want? (General Heckler : We're trackin' an unidentified object flyin' over Metro City, sir.) The Surface dwellers are firing at us? Oh, this is what I've been waiting for! Declare war on them! This is gonna get me re-elected.||„|
|~ President Stone|
|“||Oh, seize this girl immediately! She kicked me; she came; she can't kick me!||„|
|~ President Stone complaining about a little girl kicking him (probably because of his notorious crimes), shortly before one of his guards tells him he's under arrest.|
|“||No! You can't do this to me! I've got an election to win!||„|
|~ President Stone's last words as he gets arrested.|
- Though being a movie-exclusive character, President Stone is as evil as various darkest villains in the Astro Boy franchise, even worse than the more antagonistic version of Dr. Tenma.
- His troops closely resemble Stormtroopers from the Star Wars franchise, as well as Peacekeepers from the Hunger Games.
- Much of his personality and actions seem to reference the American political climate of the era during which the movie was being developed. 2007-2008 was the last two years of the Bush-Cheney presidency, during which an enormous amount of jokes were made in popular media about inept and war-hungry politicians. Some reviewers of the film even have directly equated Stone to the Cheney parodies of the time.
- It is remarked that he dropped out of college, and the official comic adaptation of the movie contains a scene from the original script that reveals Stone always had trouble in school during his youth.
- Stone bears a slight resemblance to the character Anton Ego from Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille.
- However, his appearance also resembled that of the actor voicing him, Donald Sutherland.
- Dominic Chianese, Victor Garber, Anthony Zerbe, Robert Davi, and John Lithgow were all considered for the role of Stone before Donald Sutherland was cast.